Fuel for Thought


By Greg Huggins
Posted Jun 13th 2024 8:58AM

My first nearly 25 years as an owner operator was spent filling out paper logbooks. It was almost second nature to fill out the pages. I became very familiar with them, even though they had changed a little over the years. It only took a minute or two out each day (combined time) to fill in all the day’s events and calculate available hours.

Now here I am, nearly ten years after going to an electronic logging device (first it was an AOBRD and then the ELD) and I had to fill out a couple of days of paper logs due to a glitch with my ELD. 


It took me nearly an hour to recreate paper logs from the time of the glitch. Only 2 pages. Only 2 logs to do. 

If I never have to fill out another paper log I will not miss it. As a matter of fact, I am dreading the next glitch occurrence that will inevitably come. First of all the paper log pages are now way different from those of a decade ago. Sure, it mostly requires the same information, but in a different way and in different places on the page. Some things have been added to the page and some things have been omitted. Gone are the familial days of paper logging. Of course, had I been using paper logs, the previous 8 days on-duty hours would have been there already, instead of me having to locate that information elsewhere, but still it was just an absolute pain in the neck. Over the last decade, I became proficient and more efficient using my ELD, but at the same time, I became way out of practice at recording my HOS on paper logs.

Thankfully, I am now back to using my ELD for all my hours of service, but having to fill out paper logs reminded me of how disconnected we can get. When I write something down, I can remember it much better. Having to recreate logs from a few days ago, I couldn’t even tell you when I started my PTI, how long I drove or how long it took to unload so I could begin driving again. Back when I drew the lines and wrote in the cities, added the time and subtracted the time, I always knew where I stood with regards to the Hours of Service.

Although the ELD might somewhat disconnect me from the HOS, I still do not ever want to return to the days of paper log books again.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. 

 - Bill Gates

See you down the road,