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Landstar moving toward electronic logs

| January 08, 2013

According to Landstar’s Joe Beacom, the Qualcomm MCP50 onboard computing / communications module has proved most popular among Landstar operators making the switch to eLogs.

Known widely as the nation’s largest all-owner-operator fleet, Landstar System has since August installed in the neighborhood of 1,000 electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) on trucks operating leased to one or another of its fleets. The installations are the result of a new policy company Vice President and Chief Safety and Operations Officer Joe Beacom described as stemming in part from Landstar Inway (with Landstar Ranger, one of the company’s primary truckload fleets) moving above the intervention threshold in the Hours of Service Compliance BASIC (Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) under CSA.

All new leases signed at Ranger and Inway now come with the requirement for the business capacity owner (or BCO, Landstar’s internal nomenclature for its leased owner-operators) to keep their hours of service electronically using one of three Qualcomm EOBRs with other communications/reporting tools embedded. The program also applies to current BCOs, but adoption of EOBR technology remains voluntary in large part. “Anybody who’s already here can voluntarily get one” of the units, said Beacom, “and [Landstar] will pay for the purchase of the unit.”

The  BCO is responsible for airtime costs at rates of $27.25 per month for the Qualcomm MCP50 and MCP110 units and $36.25 per month for the MCP200, company officials said.

Such applies only with voluntary adoption, however, and will be an option for contractors as long as “they don’t have any [hours] violations or roadside issues,” said Beacom. “As they get violations, they’ll have to get one — and pay for it.”

The policy — not applicable to contractors with expedited fleet Landstar Express America, though BCOs there can purchase EOBR-capable units through the Landstar Contractors’ Advantage Purchase Plan for volume discounts — has been in effect since August, Beacom added, when Landstar Inway crossed the then-Fatigued Driving BASIC’s intervention threshold for hazmat carriers, 60. (Today, the Inway fleet remains slightly above the threshold, at 61.60, the only score in any of the BASICs above threshold level among all of Landstar’s fleets.)

Before that happened, “we had talked an awful lot,” said Beacom, about how to introduce EOBRs, given the large fleet’s peer group’s wide adoption of the devices, which virtually eliminate the minor so-called “form and manner” violations that are the most common hours violations. “Our peers are the large companies that have them on every [truck]. I’d say we’re fortunate to be in the low 60s that way. Our guys historically have not had a lot of log violations, but when somebody has next to zero because it’s all automated, it’s hard to compete with that. We like the progress we’re making.”

Beacom said customers have asked “what we’re doing” to combat Inway’s hours BASIC ranking, “and they like our answer. We show them our Crash Indicator BASIC measure, which is not public — it’s 9 or so, the top ten percent best in accident frequency in the peer group.

The company continues to have a very low turnover rate, Beacom added — “Our turnover rate is going to end up this year at 25 percent” — and the policy has had no effect on contractor profitability with the carrier. “Things haven’t changed,” Beacom said. “It’s not moving the needle on profitability. It’s just a way to automate and use technology to do something you were doing already.”

  • BigRoad Inc.

    We are seeing the same trend with the smaller fleets adopting electronic logs. Since launching the BigRoad electronic log app on Android in June 2012 we have seen 34,000+ drivers download and use on their own – without their fleet manager telling them they have to. E-logs are here, easy to use and low cost and drivers generally like them once they try them out.

  • mousekiller

    Getting used to the EOBR is like wearing poorly fitting shoes Eventually you get used to them but they still don’t fit.. I don’t understand why so many are willingly jumping on this EOBR BS. It is like lemmings running head long over the cliff.

  • James Kole

    Did you happen to remind them that its against the fed regs to charge their contractors for Safety Related items such as electronic logs

  • Tony Brock

    Independent Contractor, my ass.

  • Tony Brock

    Landstar can now turn their drivers on and off, just like a motor. If I were a big company with no respect for human individuality, I would love this idea.

  • Andrea Sitler

    I had to pay for Qualcomm communication in my trucks when I leased them why not have this technology on board. It takes some adjustment but in the end it protects everyone. The driver can easily prove and provide their hours, dispatch can’t over run the driver and the company is protected. Win Win.

  • Northwind

    yea right bco’s , you won’t lose any money, and the checks in the mail ! Nothing special about that lease anymore. You will be parked and burning your time off at a truck stop not at home. Same as the rest except you give away more of your revenue and time at Landstar. Good luck with that.

  • Cheapskate

    It just doesn’t seem like the USA anymore. “turn their drivers on and off” seems right. Next it will be guns, rifles, knives. What was the biggest $ movie this week “Texas Chainsaw”. I suppose they will want our chainsaws (they are dangerous)! Don’t forget to take that 30 minute break. MORE RULES, too damn many rules

    I guess we are getting what we PAID FOR, uh elected- the new King has big plans for US..

  • gangster

    Trucking companies don’t care about safety because with the new way of doing things you need 4 years of college to turn the key its sad and ooida is right there with them all about the money

  • Thomas Duncan

    Electronic controlling of a drivers decisions when and how long to work is a disaster waiting to happen.Only the driver should make these decisions and if they are not capable of realizing when they are safe to drive then maybe they should find another trade.To hell with all these controls.You never see what a screwing you are getting until you go truly Independant,

  • AZ Jonnie

    When I am FORCED to install EOBR in my truck, I will get out of trucking FOREVER. I don’t need a law and a box to tell me when to eat, sleep and shit!

  • Trucker01

    Bullshit should have left it alone,I used to like taking a nap after 5 or 6 hrs of driving not anymore now I have to run my ass off with no break how are eobrs going to help! Are they going to put cameras in my bunk to see if I’m sleeping? I don’t know about you but I don’t sleep 8 hrs. and what about the guy who takes a 10 hr. break but does everything but a break how is this safe because big brother said its time to be tired!!!!!1

  • AM

    Electronic logbooks ? After 25 years in trucking will quit next day when it is became mandatory.

  • t

    we have to stop the government from ruining us all

  • Dave

    1.You want them in my truck. you pay for it and always pay for it. 2. You want me to run completely legal.Show me the money to support my family and business.Which will never happen! 3.I sleep when i’m tired,hows that going to change. 4. Damn,if i dont feel like im living in a communist country anymore…Doesnt matter whos running it either. Its the same. Take all their money,tell them what to do,what they can have,when they can do it,etc.

  • Goldeneagle

    It’s my truck, not Landstar’s. Therefore, I will move my truck when they come to me with an EORB.

  • Todd Dills

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but BigRoad doesn’t connect to the truck’s ECM, correct — i.e. by the U.S. definition it falls under the regs for the paper logs, as it doesn’t fit the AOBRD definition? Lots of drivers do use computer-assisted logs of this nature, yes, form BigRoad to the old laptop-based Driver’s Daily log program.

  • Rich Charles

    Explains why there are so many drivers looking for new companies to lease on with.Landstar is “No Longer” about “Don’t pull cheap freight”.Now they’re about covering their own backsides,since the BCO’s are being hosed by 3 or 4 brokers working together to lower the payout on loads.Loads start at $4.00/mile.By the time the brokers sell it around the office,you might see $1.95/mile to a BCO,but $4.00/mile to the broker agency.So,while they claim to not have cheap freight,they are right,but what they pay,now that’s a con game.

  • William McKelvie

    Letters went out months ago, stating that Landstar could not charge for those machines to the contractors, friend of mine got one. So much for that nonsense huh. But the truth has not been spoken here, I know of people who have left Landstar and gone right back a month or so later and are not required to get the machines. Gerkins sold out to his qualcomm buddies, eobr does not ensure compliance nor safety. We all should know that by now, unless you have been hiding under a very large asteroid.

  • mousekiller

    I was at a customers and they got a call from a driver that had a load for them. He was 15 minutes away was at the truck stop and was out of hours and could not deliver it. He hd this EOBR system in his truck. The customer had to go to the truck stop and pull his trailer to their dock as it was time sensitive product. . Now in truth the driver was right to protect himself. but under the old safe and productive paper log way any driver worth is salt would have gone to the customer and off loaded and then back to the Truck stop with no problem. That carrier no longer pulls for that customer now. Government intrusion in to the transportation industry is not benefiting any one but but the manufacturers of the so called areo dynamics gee haws and the electronic logging doodads.

  • Mike Jones

    Cameras are dang SURE next….they need to know what you are doing!! many companies already have a dash mounted camera observing the driver…their Insurance companies give them a good discount……all trucks will have them soon.

  • Mike Jones

    No Doubt….Brokers are Born Crooks….Lying, cheating and thieving is how they get rich…..always expensive cars in their parking lots… Rip OFF artists….

  • Mike Jones

    They just laugh at ideas like “repect” and “family atmosphere”….it’s all a joke….only a child would believe anything these crooks say…..hilarious.

  • Mike Jones

    Funny…and True!! Who needs a baby sitter?

  • Mike Jones

    Sure their Salesmen are in every trucking company office selling them all kinds of useless crap and getting RICH doing it……they sell “programs” to keep CSA Compliant to these companies…but CSA didnt even EXIST until recently and there was No NEED for the expensive crap.

  • mousekiller

    Todd, Landstar is thinking and talking about having the EORB installed that will also show and record and transmit any and all hard braking on the truck. This info is not logging but in my opinion intrusion into privacy. They are not getting loud about it but it is on the table for install. I feel that many safe professional drivers that can think for themselves will leave Landstar or retire to avoid being a do as your told kind of driver. Being a free thinking driver is going the way of the dinosaur.

  • Mike Jones

    They can spy on the driver better with this P.O.S its great training tool for a rookie…….

  • Mike Jones

    Governors, Electro Logs, driver monitoring dash cams…even MORE crap is planned for the ZOMBIE/ROBOT…”independent”… hilarious! Get inspected everyday by some Rookie cop with a clipboard..acting like a Jackass….pathetic…..

  • Mike Jones

    Too Late Now……

  • Shawn Galloway

    I guess the road to success no longer runs through the fredom of running your own business. If a EOBR dose not create revenue but cost money and revenue, how is that good business

  • alex border

    Very good information related to landstar

  • Landstar Owner Operator

    Thanks for such important information its really helpful for owner operator…

  • Lance Hottrod

    I already did, after 40 years on the road – – perfect safety record in 4 million miles – – no traffic tickets either – – I had an excellent running Cummins Big Cam 400 mechanical (no ECM), and I was NOT about to buy some troublesome computer piece of JUNK that breaks down without warning and costs big bucks to fix! Yep, so I had to take early retirement.

  • Lance Hottrod

    Older drivers are going to leave the industry in droves, that’s what Obama wants, to destroy the trucking industry too, like he has destroyed everything else.

  • snyder

    This is a shame to be treated like this

  • snyder

    Mess was test for landstar van drivers that had been forced into eobr’s because of skibitz violations. Here’s the deal, there is no mandate or law regardless of your log issues,that is fact, spoke to oida aboutit.landstar log dept is turning the screws by threats paper logs are not matching skibitz where i was told i have to match it, in short falsify my logs, third party heard heard it commercial enforcement aware and ready to walk in. Fact i have in my hands and documented that skibitz per my question. If skibitz is or is not intended for use as a logging device in any form and does skibitz promote it to be be used in that manner. Can i use skibitz as a logging device and is it intended to be used as such. Skubitz answer, skibitz is not a logging device. Question 443-677-0103

  • Sam

    You better be sleeping driver. Or you will be in violation.

  • Sam

    Watch the language driver. You may be in violation.

  • oldpinky

    We need to encourage OOIDA to go after Landstar AGAIN for double and triple brokering.

  • oldpinky

    Omnitracs, which is the old Qualcomm, will generate $800,000 per YEAR from “air time” from Landstar o/o when they are all using them. What is old but true saying: Follow the money!!! It has nothing to do with safety. Hmmmm. Wonder if Landstar is part owner of Omnitracs. OMG! Say it isn’t possible……sob!

  • oldpinky

    Unfortunately, I read an article a while ago that claimed these elogs have a 20-25 error rate. Really? Ha Ha. And here is an example of “protecting” the driver. Last winter, in Haugan MT, we met a driver that was shut down at supper time. A major winter storm was predicted after midnight, closing both Lookout and 4th of July passes. So, this driver was told to attempt to go over the now closed or dangerous passes at the worst time, rather being able to use his judgement to operate in safer conditions before the storm. If this is protection….you can have it. Most of us are a lot smarter than that. Sorry Andrea.
    Old Pinky, RS (Roads Scholar), PhD(Prefers Home Delivery)

  • oldpinky

    Anyone driving today’s highways, will hard brake numerous times a day as the rate of texting goes up. And to insinuate it is our fault, and that a company will use this to “retrain” us, is absurd. These guys are computer jockies, with no idea of their own sphere of operation.

  • oldpinky

    FMCSA shows all the signs of insecurity that any group of ignorant people will show when put in a position to prove themselves about something they know nothing about. The Pres is not on the committee.

  • oldpinky

    Then why do we keep voting the hate mongers and the “we’ll save you-ers” back into office. We need Walter Cronkite!!!

  • oldpinky

    From all we’ve observed in the 25 years we’ve been on the road, the abuse of drivers by trucking companies is what is prompting this issue. O/O are business people and most of us know how to pace our days, when to run long to be safe and when to shut ‘er down. I nap several times a week when it seems necessary. Follow the money. Saw an article the other day where a panel of industry experts (big company talking heads) whine that they are being unfairly challenged by O/O because while their companies use elogs, we don’t. Talk about “spin” .

  • mousekiller

    WE dont elect them. The dead that voted democratic many times in each election voted him in office. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.