Electronic Driver Log

New federal regulations mandating the use of electronic driver logs are now set to go into effect sooner than expected. The Department of Transportation will now publish its new rules covering electronic logs on Sept. 30. The DOT had previously said the final rules, which aim to keep the roads safer by reducing driver fatigue, wouldn’t be published until almost a year from now.

After the new regulations are published, trucking companies will have two years to implement the electronic logs. In addition to electronic record keeping, the DOT’s new rules also touch on driver harassment, hardware specifications and other hours of service documentation. These DOT regulations, which have strong supporters and detractors, are going to have an impact on every truck driver.

What’s Changing

The DOT’s new regulations can be broken into four sections. The most important and noteworthy is the mandatory implementation of electronic logs. The DOT and others in support of the electronic logs say they will keep drivers safer by reducing hours-of-service violations, as well as greatly reduce paperwork. Here’s what’s happening:

  • The electronic logs will be required for any driver who must have paper logs for 8 or more days out of 30 on the road.
  • For companies already using approved record-keeping devices, there appears to be a provision extending the DOT’s deadline.
  • It’s expected that the cost to adapt to the electronic logs will be anywhere from $200 to $832.
  • According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, 20 deaths and 434 injuries per year will be prevented by mass use of electronic log books.
  • The log books will save $394.8 million per year in annual safety benefits, the FMCSA says.

Here’s what federal transportation officials are saying about the use of electronic logs: