Written by Michael Graw Published on October 1, 2023 On this page 1. Eliminate Paper Time Tracking 2. Reduce Hours of Service Violations 3. Simplify Trip Checks and On-Road Inspections 4. Enhance Driver Safety 5. Recognize Top Drivers 6. Streamline Communication with Dispatch Verdict Frequently Asked Questions Expand Electronic logbooks bring a new, digital presence into truck drivers’ workdays that wasn’t there before. While some drivers start off feeling skeptical about electronic logging devices (ELDs), many change their opinions once they use them.ELDs provide various benefits for your truck drivers, such as helping them save time and reduce paperwork. It’s also easier for drivers to be recognized for their good work when you analyze their logbook data using fleet management software.In this guide, we’ll explore six benefits of electronic logbooks for truck drivers. 1. Eliminate Paper Time TrackingOne of the biggest benefits of ELDs for drivers is that they eliminate the need for manual time tracking with pen and paper.The electronic logbook automatically starts recording time at the beginning of a driver’s shift and monitors how long they spend driving. All drivers must do is review their logbooks at the end of their shift and sign off on the data.ELDs also ensure that drivers’ time records are accurate. This way, they can be properly paid for all their work hours—with no time missing. 2. Reduce Hours of Service ViolationsThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits how long drivers can be behind the wheel after being off for a certain amount of time.Load-carrying drivers can’t spend more than 11 hours behind the wheel after 10 hours off-duty, and passenger-carrying drivers can’t spend more than 10 hours behind the wheel after eight hours off-duty. In addition, load-carrying drivers have to take a 30-minute break every eight hours and can’t drive more than 60 or 70 hours in a seven- or eight-day period.Violating these rules can lead to steep penalties for drivers and for your company. However, drivers don’t always realize when they’re about to violate hours of service rules. The overlapping time constraints can be complex, and it’s sometimes easy for hours to fly by without a driver noticing.An electronic logbook can notify both you and your drivers when they’re approaching hours of service limits. For example, a driver’s ELD can alert them when they must take a 30-minute break or when they’re approaching 10 or 11 hours behind the wheel. Drivers can then pull over to avoid a violation. 3. Simplify Trip Checks and On-Road InspectionsDrivers can also use electronic logbooks to streamline pre- and post-trip checks. The logbook can include a digital checklist drivers can follow to complete their checks. If they find something wrong, they can report it with a tap of the device and a quick note.This greatly reduces the amount of time drivers have to spend on checks. It also ensures that when drivers find something wrong with their vehicle during these checks, the data is transmitted immediately to your fleet’s maintenance department so the problem can be addressed.Similarly, when drivers are stopped at an on-road inspection station, it takes only a few seconds for an ELD to transmit the required data to the inspection officer. Most electronic logbooks can share data over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or email with just a few taps.The inspection officer can instantly review the digital data and check for alerts, enabling drivers to return to the road as quickly as possible. It’s a much smoother process compared to sharing traditional paper logs at inspection stations. 4. Enhance Driver SafetyEvery truck driver wants to be safe on the road, but they may not always recognize some of their unsafe driving behaviors.Electronic logbooks can help by recording data about behaviors like speeding, sudden braking, or sudden acceleration. You can then use this data to work with your drivers to reduce these potentially dangerous behaviors.You can also use electronic logbook data to develop your fleet driver training program. For example, say your fleet’s electronic logbooks record a high degree of sudden braking. This could be a sign your drivers need training on safe following distances or good braking behavior.Additionally, perhaps you need extra funding for driver safety training. You can use ELD data to provide evidence to your company’s management team that additional safety training is needed. 5. Recognize Top DriversDrivers can also benefit from electronic logbooks because they make it easier for fleet managers to recognize their good work.You can see at a glance which drivers have the best safety performance, the lowest idle times, and the lowest fuel costs. Based on this data, you can create a driver recognition program that rewards top-performing drivers.This can be a win-win for your fleet. Drivers get positive reinforcement for their hard work, and you incentivize driving behavior that improves safety and reduces fleet management costs. 6. Streamline Communication with DispatchWhile some fleets have excellent communication between drivers and dispatchers, communication is a point of tension for many truck drivers. Sometimes, they don’t have the information they need about a load. Other times, drivers get incorrect details about pickup times and locations.Many electronic logbooks integrate with dispatch systems to transfer load details to drivers digitally. This reduces the chances of mix-ups and ensures drivers don’t show up at the wrong place or time.With ELDs, drivers can plan their day around accurate pickup and drop-off details. They also benefit from having all their work details in a single ELD interface rather than spread across multiple apps and schedules. Verdict Although truck drivers may initially be hesitant about electronic logbooks, many embrace ELDs once they discover how these devices can improve their daily work.Electronic logbooks can help drivers eliminate paper time tracking, comply with hours of service guidelines, and simplify trip checks. They can also help drivers improve safety and get recognized for their hard work. Finally, ELDs can make it easier for drivers to communicate with dispatch and get accurate pickup and drop-off details for every load. Frequently Asked Questions Why are electronic logbooks better than paper logs? Electronic logbooks automatically record drivers’ shift hours and moving time in a tamper-proof log. They reduce mistakes that can arise from manual time tracking and save drivers time that they would otherwise spend tracking their hours of service. Do truck drivers have to use an electronic logbook? Most commercial vehicle drivers in the US and Canada are now legally required to use an electronic logbook. There are limited exemptions for short-haul drivers, but these drivers can still benefit from using an ELD. To read more about legal requirements for commercial drivers, check out the requirements needed to become fleet safety certified. Can an ELD save money? While switching your fleet to electronic logbooks has upfront costs, ELDs can save your fleet money in the long run. ELDs can help you increase driver safety, reduce fuel costs, and avoid hours of service violations and associated fines. Written by: Michael Graw Michael is a prolific business and B2B tech writer whose articles have been published on many well-known sites, including TechRadar Pro, Business Insider and Tom's Guide. Over the past six years, he has kept readers up-to-date with the latest business technology, corporate finance matters and emerging business trends. A successful small business owner and entrepreneur, Michael has his finger firmly on the pulse of B2B tech, finance and business.