What Should a Truck Driver Consider When Buying Log Book Software?
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has a maze of rules and regulations that truck drivers must follow, including keeping daily logs of their hours of service. Within each log is a record of time spent actually driving, time spent “on duty,” not driving, and time spent at rest or off duty. Even when a driver is sitting still, such as when he or she is waiting to get loaded or unloaded, the driver must record that time as being on duty. Log book software can help.
If a truck driver goes over the allotted number of hours, the driver can be cited for a violation. This may result in fines or points against the trucker’s license, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the various requirements. DOT rules change frequently and drivers must keep up with the changes, so some programs can be easily updated to include modifications of DOT regulations. This is one of the better features of some log book software programs.
Log book software is especially handy for the OTR, or "over the road" truck driver. OTR trucking, as opposed to local or regional routes, can easily result in violations. Truck drivers must keep impeccable records and this can be difficult to do when traveling through different time zones in a matter of days or even hours. Log book software does the work for the driver.
Truck drivers should look for programs that not only update DOT rules but also calculate hours of service and hours remaining. Look for a log book software program that allows you to put in your trip information, measure average MPH, and one that makes note of potential violations in advance. Check options for “best routes,” maps, and the ability to print reports such as fueling and maintenance expenses.
These reports can help you keep a record of your logs for up to six months. For the owner operator, reports can also make it easier to see how much money is coming in and going out. With log book software, you’ll be able to keep track of fuel, tolls, maintenance, and other operational expenses so you can quickly determine your profit for each trip or your annual profit.
Log book software is also available for companies that employ more than one driver. Companies can easily keep track of mileage, duty hours, average MPH, and violations if any. If your trucking company is audited, this information will be at your fingertips, and you can print up to six months worth of records.
@DanTheDriver: BigRoad is another electronic logging app available on Android that drivers like.
Has anyone ever heard of EZ-Log? I saw it on their web site and the price is reasonable. It's more for doing all the calculations. Still have to use the paper copy. But it looks like it makes things easier.
anon30832: As long as your software meets all the regulations of the paper log book and you print it out at the end of each day you will be good. I use "Drivers Daily Log" and have been for some time. I have been checked a few times and as soon as the officer sees what I am using the conversation is over and I'm on my way.
Is there any software that replaces the paper log book or will those still be required no matter what software you use? Thanks
To comment on one point in this article. Different time zones are not really much of a problem in logkeeping because the driver uses only the time zone in which his/her home terminal is domiciled. Central time, if that's where the driver's home terminal is, would be used even if the truck is on the East Coast.
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