An Interview: How Trimble eDriver Logs Helped a Regional Carrier Keep Its Pristine Compliance and Safety Records Intact
What are the biggest benefits you see in an electronic logs system?
Steve Hoekstra, CEO, Hoekstra Transportation: “The system is a win-win for our drivers and the company, for ensuring HOS compliance and protecting our safety record. Our drivers get adequate rest for their personal safety, and preserving our safety record keeps our insurance rates in check.”
Bill Beluso, regional/dedicated load planner: “Planning is much easier because the system gives us greater visibility into each driver’s schedule—where they are and how much drive time they have. The drivers know that we don’t have to juggle emergency changes to get them home after their 70 hours, and they don’t worry about it anymore.”
Steve: “This is an important point for a short haul regional carrier like us. We really never know how long our drivers ultimately end up at customer docks. PeopleNet eDriver Logs gives us up-to-the-minute data for planning within HOS regs.”
How did you implement the system?
Steve: “We’ve slowly tested and rolled the system out over 10 months or so to gauge driver reception and incorporate the system into our operations. We started with a group of drivers that made more predictable runs since they wouldn’t need to work around an on- demand schedule. We wanted them to get familiar with eDriver Logs prior to rolling out to the fleet. As more drivers got on the system, they spread positive reports about electronic logs.”
Brandon Blanchett, driver manager: “We introduced the drivers to eDriver Logs using PeopleNet’s video and a full-function system. In 30 minutes, they completed a full orientation.
“It was typical for drivers to have a few questions during their first two days on the system behind the wheel, but no major issues. We didn’t lose a single driver, and as Steve pointed out, it has helped driver retention.”
Aaron Halcomb, operations director: “The questions seemed to focus on the procedure for arrivals. Easy stuff.”
How did the drivers and others in the company greet eDriver Logs?
Brandon: “Whatever pain you think there will be—in particular, the loss of drivers—it’s really best to get them on the program quickly and ease their apprehension. In hindsight, we should have sped up the rollout. There will always be a knee-jerk reaction to learning anything new, especially the veteran drivers. Sure, our drivers were concerned about the system encroaching on their drive time. But they soon realized that the elimination of paperwork gave them more drive time.
Aaron: “Plus, they arrive home well rested and enjoy their weekends instead of having to recuperate from an exhausting week. So overall, pretty positive. The drivers were pleasantly surprised.”
Steve: “There’s another big timesaver for drivers at roadside inspections. Electronic logs guarantees that there will be no violation for not having current logs and that the inspection will take far less time.”
Bill: “I know the drivers are happier not having us calling and bugging them every hour for an update about how many hours of drive time they have left before they’re due to rest. eDriver Logs provides real- time updates, so we don’t have to interrupt them from concentrating on safe driving.”
Steve: “There’s someone else besides our drivers and load planners who likes the system just as much— that’s our log clerk. She saves lots of time not having to decipher paper logs. And of course, that frees her up for other duties.”
Would you recommend the program to other fleets?
Steve: “Absolutely, without hesitation. We’ve always embraced technology as it has been offered. I believe in our industry it’s simply not an option for the future. In this case, eDriver Logs is our ticket to consistency, accuracy and compliance.”
Aaron: “Don’t forget easier, better planning. If I were to sum it up, eDriver Logs is an important benefit that our drivers would not want to lose. They now have it all— productivity, safety, and a better quality of life.”
– Steve Hoekstra, CEO
– Brandon Blanchette, Driver Manager
– Bill Belluso, Regional/Dedicated Load Planner
– Aaron Halcomb, Operations Director