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COMPUTERIZED LOGS

I wanted to take a minute of your time to follow up Len’s previous blog post about Fatigued Driving.  In that post he discussed computerized logbooks, referring to Eclipse logbook, and Driver’s Daily Logs (DDL).  There are quite a few drivers that think that computerized logbooks are the same as an On Board Recorder (EOBR).  That is not the case.  An EOBR uses a GPS device, and plugs into the computer in your truck to monitor where you are going, and how fast you are getting there.

Eclipse logbook, and DDL, are just a way to complete your daily logs without writing them by hand.  Both services have a copy of Mercer’s log page, and you simply use your computer to fill in the data instead of using a pen.  Then print out a clean, legible copy of your logs.

I have talked to several of our contractors that use these programs now, and they love it.  In fact, most of them say that they would never go back to hand writing logs again.   Plus, Len is offering an incentive to signing up (See his previous post)!

Here is some info on how to get more information about both programs:

Eclipse logbook:  www.logbook.com

I suggest visiting their site, and watching the demo video on their home page.

Eclipse’s regular charge is $59.99.  They do offer a $10 discount for Mercer Contractors.  You will have to enter a promo code when purchasing the software.  You can get that code from your log auditor.

 

Driver’s Daily Log:  http://www.driversdailylog.com/

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  1. john dubois
    January 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    just another step for total control….when will it be enough…..i may be old school….but i know when a bully is trying to take my lunch money

  2. January 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve been playing around with the program and love it. It tells how much time you have each day as well as the 60,70 hour allowance.

    When can Mercer drivers start using this application ? Will we have to print the pages out and trip pak them as the other log pages ?

  3. Janice & Jerry Carter 7966
    January 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    so when does this come into effect & like the above question do we print it off our printer & scan them to you like the bills or mail them to you in mercer’s paid envelopes? What is the total price going to cost us? Thanks

    • elichtsteiner
      January 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Hey Jerry and Janice this is not something that is mandatory it’s just there to use it if you want or not. But if you do opt to use the log book program, yes you’ll need to print them off and scan them in via trippak.

  4. robert
    January 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I am driving on the brewton xpress side of anderson trucking at first i hated the sound of running computer logs and still not my most favorite thing in the industry BUT no more dispatch crying when i stop at the end of my time they can see im out of time,no more asking on the old cb hey west bound whats they scale doing for 50 miles and getting scared when i find out there open and i got no where to go around at i get to laugh at the dot when they ask for my log book now there just wasting there time they will not find anything wrong on it i dont like it but i tolerate it it has is good and bad and cant say well i cant make no money on it or i cant run all my miles for the day because i gotta stop a little early just to find parking i run upto the last 10 minutes every day especially if im under an oversize load i have put in every legal mile allowed in 24 hours on the computer just cant stop at every truckstop from point a to point b im out here to work not play in the truckstops

  5. rick amershek
    January 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

    mr. dubios has said a mouthful i couldn,t agree more

  6. Jim Kidd
    January 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Sounds like more cost savings for Mercer and more costs for the Owner Operator! I’ve always had a laptop( entertainment on the weekends ) but then a scanner ( trip pak still around )now here comes the push for a logbook software…hmm. Might need a printer now, then a Gps so it can fill in your location on said program. I personally have a brain and like to use it obviously I’m not in favor of a logbook software. I guess the pen & paper along with Rand Mcnally will be gone ;(

    • elichtsteiner
      January 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Mr. Kidd, Good to hear from you. It’s been a long time. Hope things are well with you at the house. I would like to explain a little on the computer logs, if I may. The computer logs are just tools for you to use at your own leisure. We are just trying to find ways to eliminate possible lengthy DOT inspections if one of you were to get stopped out on the road. You don’t need to use a GPS with the computer logs as we (Mercer) or any other entity aren’t trying to track you. We are just looking for ways to make it easier. You don’t even need to be hooked up to the internet to use the log program. And always if you need anything you know who to call.

      • Jim Kidd
        January 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

        Eric, It’s always a pleasure and things are well Thanks for asking.When I read ” Eclipse logbook, and DDL, are just a way to complete your daily logs without writing them by hand. Both services have a copy of Mercer’s log page, and you simply use your computer to fill in the data instead of using a pen. Then print out a clean, legible copy of your logs.” I thought here we go! I’ve heard rumors the last year or so from a few people in Louisville ( NOT DRIVERS ) that Mercer has been toying with the idea for awhile ? I hope it’s not true, I don’t need to add anymore electronic gadgets in my truck at my expense my scanner is still a burr under my saddle! I brought up a printer and Gps as examples of more gadgetry Not Big Brother-although He’s there! CSA or whatever it’s called is real but if you know the rules of the game you don’t need gadgetry to play the game. Eric, have a great day and I’ll see you sometime in the Spring!

  7. Luis Davila
    January 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I saw the video from Eclipse, DDL seems more complicated, couldn’t see any demo, can you tell me which is easier or more reliable? thanks

  8. DENNIS HAMMER
    January 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I WILL NEVER USE A COMPUTERIZED LOG SYSTEM IM OLD SCHOOL AND I PREFER THE MIGHTY PEN AND PAPER, IF U PUT ONE OF THESE THINGS IN YOURE TRUCK THERE WILL COME A DAY THAT THE FEDEREAL GOVERMENT WILL TAKE CONTROL OF IT. SURE IT SOUNDS LIKE NOW ITS JUST A CHOICE IF YOU USE IT OR NOT BUT THATS THE GOVERMENTS WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO PUT ONE IN THIER TRUCK WITHOUT MAKING IT LAW BECAUSE IT WONT PASS DUE TO PRIVACY ISSUES. ONCE YOU WILLINGLY PUT ONE IN YOURE BASICALY TELLING THE GOVERMENT THAT YOU WAIVE YOURE RIGHTS TO YOURE PRIVACY AND ALLLOW THEM TO TRACK AND CONTROL YOURE LIFE. THIS WILL HAPPEN, ONCE ITS IT YOUR TRUCK AND THE FEDS HAVE ENOUGH DATA SHOWING ITS USE IN ACTION IT WILL BECOME LAW AND BY THAT TIME ITS TO LATE TO CHANGE IT OR IT JUST BECOMES A WAY OF THE TRUCKING LIFE. ITS EASIER TO PASS LAWS AND RULES WHEN EVERONE IS DOING IT. SO THEY GET THIER WAY AFTER ALL WITHOUT A FIGHT OR ARGUMENT FROM THE INDUSTRY. AND THEY SAY THE GOVERMENT IS STUPID. ITS ALL ABOUT CONTROL AWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL SO DONT BE FOOLED INTO THE FALSE SENCE THAT ITS JUST A CHOICE. YOURE CHOICE TO USE IT IS ANOTHER VOTE FOR TOTAL INDUSTRY REGULATIONS AND GOVERMENT CONTROL. IF YOU THINK IM LIEING LOOK AT TAXES, SUPPOSED TO BE VOLUNTARY AND TEMPORARY AND THAT WAS THE MESSAGE PASSED ALONG BY THE GOVERMENT DURING WWII AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW ITS MANDATORY FOR CITY, STATE, AND LOCAL TAXES TO BE COLLECTED EACH YEAR. AND IF YOU DONT PAY EXSPECT A VISIT BY THE IRS AND ITS STILL NOT A LAW. BUT ONCE AGAIN ONCE EVERYONE IS DOING IT THEN ITS EASIER TO FORCE IT AND MAKE IT MANDATORY. WHEN I HAVE TO RUN A COMPUTER LOG, A BLACK BOX, GPS, AND GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE IS AROUND THE CORNER FOR CONTROL IM DONE DRIVING, I GUESS ILL GO WORK AT MCDONALDS OR WALMART BECAUSE ILL MAKE THE SAME MONEY SINCE THE COST OF LIVING HAS INCREASED BUT THE INCOME HASN’T. IF ANYTHING THE INCOME HAS GOTTEN WORSE. HAULING CHEAP LOADS AT RATES OF 5 TO 10 YEARS AGO, YEAH BUDDY LIFE IS GOOD. GO MERCER YOURE AT THE FRONT OF THE LINE

  9. John Wieczorek Unit# 7439
    January 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Hi Eric good to hear this discussion I would like to know how many citations we have gotten when they can’t be printed out on paper on demand because the printer won’t work or out of ink? I for one am ready for the EOBR but I also feel like I need to get paid for all my time. We as independent contractors accept a load on a per mile rate then all the extra time should be charged at a per hour dollar amount it will be interesting to see more comments on this subject. The series that Len is doing on this Blog is great. You and all the MERCER team THANKS for all you do and thanks for having me as a contractor.

    • elichtsteiner
      January 23, 2012 at 8:09 am

      Hi John, I’ll check into the citations but I don’t think I have heard of a citation given out because a Log couldn’t be printed. All I have heard is drivers just show their computer to the DOT officer, provided he\she askes to see your logs. I’ll get back to you and let you know thanks John have a good day.

  10. Rbeck
    January 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    When is Mercer going to computerized logs? Hopefully not for another 4 years. I agree with Jim Kidd sounds like we are going to pay for logs out of are pocket $59.00 for log software and then $40.00 for printer ink and then paper

    • elichtsteiner
      January 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Hi Mr. Beck, just wanted to let you know that Mercer isn’t going to computerized logs. It isn’t mandatory. It is simply their for drivers who would like to fill out their logs via computer. Or if one wants to continue to use paper that’s good too. Have a good day.

  11. scott brown
    January 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    when are companies gonna stand up for themselves instead of being a puppet or trying to be a role model for something thats screwed up to begin with? Take a stand or get a backbone .jim johnston cant change it by himself ,he needs some help.

  12. Jason Schaftlein
    January 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Wow…looks like a lot of discussion here. My only purpose of writing this post is that we have quite a few contractors that use these log programs, and love them. We also have quite a few contractors that don’t use them and never will, as stated in previous comments. Point is, I was just trying to put some information out there about another tool to use the help you guys/girls out. IT IS NOT MANDATORY. THESE PROGRAMS ARE NOT EOBR’S. If you are interested, then you have the information at your fingertips. If you think that Mercer is trying to push this on you…If we were going to mandate the use of these programs, we would just tell you you have to do it. But we’re not. Computerized logs, or EOBR’s will not be mandated by Mercer, until the Government mandates it for all carriers, which we believe may happen within the next several years. Thanks for your feedback, and GO MERCER!!!

  13. John Pope
    January 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    From what I’ve seen neither software program is compatible with an apple computer, only windows or did I miss something???

    • elichtsteiner
      January 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Neither program is compatible with the Apple computers yet John.

  14. R Jump
    January 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Just keep in mind you do need to be able to show previous 8 days at any given time

  15. glenn jones
    January 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    every company needs to make a profit but at who’s expense. this will be an additional cost to us the driver by buying the program, printer, ink and paper.

    • Jason Schaftlein
      January 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      If you don’t buy the program, you don’t have to spend the money. It is not required that you use it.

  16. January 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    amazing how many drivers are naive enough to have pre-pass, ez-pass etc that track your location, date, and time at every toll plaza and weigh station, spend thousands on chrome, CB radios, toys for the truck yet they complain about a $49 program and $79 printer.

    YES, I know you are “old school”, but no one is forcing you to do this. Yes, most of us don’t like the government regarding the FMCSA side of it, but the sooner you realize you can’t do anything about it, the happier your life will get. Sorry for the rant.

    • Jason Schaftlein
      January 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

      deleted your post with the promo code…don’t want non-mercer drivers getting on here and using it

      • michael larkins
        February 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

        I was reading one of the responses to the electronic logs. I know of an app for smart phones and tablet users. It’s called udrove. U can go to http://WWW.udrove.com to get more info. But it is a drivers light that does a lot and would solve the issues that most have about cost and convenience. Also in the event that a driver is asked to provide his logs to dot they have a fax option which allows the driver to fax his logs directly to the station or person of his choice. This could be a simple solution. I believe the cost is $20 a month. That may be a problem, but it is also a tax deductible item. One other option would be for mercer ti simply have a proprietary application designed for all smart phones and tablets. One that could be linked with the dispatch software that would not only allow driver to have the convenience of his logs electronically but also entire load information. I hope this is useful as I agree with the other driver. The use of these programs just is not cost effective for us, and very time consuming. I’m pretty sure that here at mercer we should have someone skilled enough to design such an app. If they were to need any ideas feel free to contact me. I’ve used something similar to this at another company and could provide some useful tips. Thanks for reading.

  17. tyler
    January 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

    watched the video on the eclipse logbook and found it to be very informative. it seems easy to use and takes all the hurdles out of completing the log. i think the biggest advantages would be the clarity and uniformity that every log sheet will have, which i feel would lead to less scrutiny when being viewed by enforcement. but when they decide to take a hard look, the program would have caught any of the possible hiccups taking stress off of me. i would like to encourage other drivers to watch the video or do research before jumping to conclusions as i did at first. maybe this would actually help steer away from the total monitoring the government wants and we all dread.

  18. January 31, 2012 at 9:27 am

    As I spoke about to Len this morning, we still have to do our state miles breakdown, which I’m not complaining about, he said they were working on getting that implemented. The thing that keeps me from moving to the computer logs is that we still need to print off the daily logs and scan them to Mercer. Cost of paper, ink, and most important to me, no savings of time! I don’t have log issues; I’m looking for a benefit to me, which is not there. If the certified fax feature could be used, I would sign on to the service because it would make my life a little easier.

  19. gene mccook
    February 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    i agree the certified fax program would be great and would get many to switch over.

    i already have a fax,scanner ,copier, printr set-up in my truck(have for a good long while.) i also have a myfax.com acct. so a fax sent to my 800 number will recieve on my end as a e-mail and i can scan on my scanner and send that as a fax thru e-mail (10.00) a month.

    the ink , paper, printer scanner log program, laptop are all tax deductible. in reality its not costing you anything to have these items.

    i downloaded the eclipse log free trial (30 days) and began using it the 27th of jan. after one week now, i just purchased it. this log program is great. easy and simple to work, just click the time line in the appropriate spot , type the city, type what you did ( fuel, pti etc)

    you click also for the dvir and also just click and type in the state mileage reports. i honestly could kick myself in the butt for not having this sooner. the logs are sharp and so neatly printed , it is sure to help when going thru a log check.

    and i know someone is thinking what if i made a mistake a couple of days ago, can i go back and change it?? yes you can, as long as it hasnt be scanned to mercer you are good to go. this program is no different really than a paper log, you just have to print em is all.

    it keeps track of the recap and if ya input the odometer reading at both end and start of day it even puts toal mileage in auto or you can do it yourself.

    the reality is there are so many video surveillance cameras, time stamps on the most purchases, etc etc. for one to think he isnt already being tracked , is to be fooling yourself.

    i am a old guy myself, but ya got to remember the dinosaurs died out because they didnt adapt, dont be a dinosaur or else us zip code trucks will take over the world.

    gene mccook #12523

    • Jason Schaftlein
      February 6, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Thanks for making me laugh this morning Gene.

  20. gene mccook
    February 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    got a roadside dot inspection this morning on us 52 near ironton, ohio. ohio trooper parked in median and picked me out randomly. he had me follow him to a parking area underneath the greenup dam bridge. he then proceeded with the inspection.

    license , registration, med card, and then he wanted my logbook. i then whipped out my laptop and the trusty eclipse log program., i was a bit nervous . i showed him todays log and then went back several days as he asked to see previous days. i told him i had them all printed except for today if he preferred to see those. he said no that it looked good, i pull out the printed ones anyway and ask if he give his opinion of them . he said they looked fine and were and improvement over handwritten logs as they were so easy to read.

    anyway, i passed the inspection, no violations, i hope that keeps the green light on the prepass. so the ohio dot man likes eclipse logs, i told the officer it was a pleasure being inspected by someone as nice and friendly as he was ( which he really was), and he told me he appreciated me having everything in place and easily found .

    so the eclipselogs work, now i got to get back to work and make my wife some money. we been married so long she dont call me baby anymore, she just calls me DIRECT DEPOSIT.

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