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Hi-tech truckers and paperless logs

By: staff

Date: Friday, 17. November 2006

Some truck drivers don't have to pull out a pen and painstakingly log their driving times on paper. They hit a button on their keyboard and their log is automatically updated back at company headquarters. Werner Enterprises is a truckload motor carrier of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, it is the only carrier in the United States to receive authorization from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to initiate paperless logs using satellite-based technology.

Each of the company's trucks has a Qualcomm satellite-linked keypad and screen that connects the driver and the truck to the company's operations center in Omaha. Werner began installing Qualcomm satellite connections in its trucks in 1992. In 1995, the company began testing the Paperless Log System, while continuing use of the traditional paper logbooks. In 1998, The Federal Highway Administration officially authorized the company's adoption of the Paperless Log System and the paper logs were phased out.

"The logs are stored on the mainframe at the company's Omaha headquarters, says Mike Franzen, Werner's logging supervisor. When drivers gets back into the cab to drive they simply push the "Start Drive Time" button. When finished driving they hit the "Stop Drive Time" button. The information is transmitted to qualcomm in San Diego and then to Werner's computer for recording and storage.

The system has many advantages, for Werner Enterprises, its clients and the drivers. It includes GPS capability so that the truck's location is recorded as the drive's information is transmitted. The information helps the company project drivers' estimated arrival times. It also helps drivers plan their trips more efficiently and improve customer service. Because of better planning, Werners maintains, the system enables managers to preplan and assign loads based on accurate, future, and available driving hours. This, they say, allows drivers to maximize their time on the road and increase their miles rather than decreasing them.

Werner has two "million dollar technology trucks" which it has equipped as instructional vehicles and sends around to truck driving schools across North America.

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All Comments (36)

Showing 1 - 36 comments

TW Lewis,

Most veterans in any industry reject change just because its change. I have my preferences but try to remain open minded to new things. Paperless logs are just what you make of them. If you like to be out of compliance, drive over your limits and cheat on logs you will hate paperless. If you run within the parameters and want precise records keeping for owner operators they are fantastic. It is what you make of it, good or bad.

Mike V,

I drive for Stevens Transport and just recived a paperless log quallcom a month ago. I have only been driving OTR for 1yr 2months and can tell you right now, paperless logs are bad. No room to breath.

When your in the middle of the mojave on your way to L.A. just trying to make it to Barstow for the night so you can shower and have a nice meal, you can forget Your ass is eating at the Dairy Queen!

How about Cheyanne to Wendover???
How about NYC?? How bout produce is CA??

A Real Trucker know's you have to fudge here and there..not kill the log but 5 mins here, maybe an extra 10 min to get to the place "YOU" want to park.

Paperless takes away your freedom, and anyone that says otherwise is a liar.

Paper logs are basic math and straight lines... if you can't do a log how the hell do you truck across the USA without getting lost every trip out.


the companies that say they will fire you if your paper log dosent match your e-log are tring to put fear in you they have no right to do such a thing these e-logs are not legal as far as im concerned but if its what they want then so be it i never autherized an electronic signature nor will i theres too many glitches in the system and werner is a training company that shouldnt train there drivers dont know what a logbook looks like much less how to use one.


i am looking derivers for company run in all 48 states if some body is interested do me a call on 407 610 6112

A. Cissell,

It only works for drivers who work for companies who have true working employees. Too many times preplan runs are not 'preplanned', too many times a message is sent from the company to the driver asking where they are, how many hours they have left and argue about the amount of fuel in the truck. Lazy workers at companies leave truckers stranded waiting for runs, arguing for stops for fuel, running out of driving hours for the week and they don't get home. Companies have to get off their butts and hire descent employees who are considerate of the trucker who have to drive to make money!!! Lazy employees= terrible companies to work for!!


Brand new @ paperless logs. when I logged on today (for the first time) it said I have 10.5 hours left available to drive today. but the problem is, I don't. My day sarted @ 4am and I only have 3.25 hours left. Can I change this thing?

Last Legal Trucker,

I have to say, paperless logs are a tool for the benefit of the trucking companies and DOT. Trucking companies seem to love them. Unfortunately the only experience I had with them, was while driving for Southern Refrigerated Transport out of Texarkana AR. They had us turn in paper logs also and told us if they did not match exactly what the paperless log showed we would be terminated. So I spent hours making sure everything was exactly the same. In the old days, I would draw my line when I started driving, draw my line down when I fueled and logged myself in the sleeper when I stopped for the night. I think paperless is a hassle and not worth the extra hours you have to put in making sure everything matches exactly the same. Of course, I think drivers are better than pets ALSO, and deserve to have heat and air conditioning while they sleep. And Southern Refrigerated did not agree with me there either.

rocky risse,

the paperless logs dont work for everyone. when im tired im forced to drive. when im wide awake im forced to shut down. im loseing money because i dont have enough hrs to run. what i wanna know is are paperless required for every trucking company or is it only for the ones with a bad safty record. and what about when a driver is held up at a customer the clock ticks away you get tired just sitting and waiting then when you got to go your tired. you people really really need to rethink what you are putting on us. better yet before you go making rules as they say walk a mile in my shoes and get first hand knowlage of what we have to deal with out here thanks just doin the impossable for the very ungrateful. and you people dont make it any easier for us drivers


The paperless system really works great.
I drove for Werner and they give you plenty of time to deliver and pick up your loads. the system is all in one. You do not have to sort and fumble with the log and vehicle inspection. the only papers you got are your BOL's.
They do not shut off your truck if your run over your time. You get a nasty gram from the safety division and shut down, (no driving), for the time your ran over and what ever safety deems necessary at that time.
For anyone who has not used the paperless logs do NOT complain until you use it. Werner does a great job in making our job easier.

truck driver,

does any one know if there is a program out there that i can you on my pc for printing logs?


as far as I,m been hearing so far it will be mandatory in all of Canada within the next two years in which after 40 years I will have had enough of the ever rapid changes in the transport industry all being for them and none for us. Any one driving as long as I have will know what I,m talking about. As far as I'm concerned after seeing the past number of changes in the log book rules there are far more tired drivers then ever before. Now paperless? Less hometime and pissed off custumers being 2 hours away and can't deliver cause Qualcom says so!!


I have driven transport for 41years now. I disapprove of the paperless logs for many reasons. It is now going to be implemented in Canada which is the main reason many highly qualified drivers are leaving the industry for hiring far less qualified drivers. I have seen personally from being a driver trainer at transport company,s the qualifications some of these new drivers have coming out of driver training schools. It leaves no dought that the future of the trucking industry is going to change. The dispatching will be the first to change. I don't like the idea that a driver will now have to spend more time on the road and less time at home and make no more money. Thank you


how do you get around or bypass these things? I've heard just wrap it in aluminum foil. I've heard put a magnet on the unit? My dedicated route is 10 min between my house and the interstate. Sometimes construction backups make it very difficult for me to get my truck shut down on time. Thanks

Love Maker,

Im glad that they do have the paperless logbook. Sometime you might pull in a truck stop for the night and after a log trip you may not feel like doing your logbook so it will be already log in. Yes Judy it will be manitory for all trucks in the future. I am working on that now but it will be upgraded. It's going to be avalible for company drivers and owner operators you can buy it online or at a truck stop.


Well if u friggin do ur job and run ur hrs out everyday u wldnt have that problem! Thats just a lazy f@$kin truck driver thats set in his ways. Werner gives u plenty of time, i should know quite well. ive been with werner now for 14 yrs.


The reason Werner went to paperless logs was that they repeatedly failed audits by the D.O.T regarding their driver's paper logs,and so came up with the paperless logs option to appease the D.O.T.My experience with a Werner dispatcher(before paperless) was that he was ridiculously demanding,i.e,that I must deliver the load NOW,even though I told him the frigging roads were closed due to a blizzard in North Dakota.I have talked to Werner drivers about the paperless logs and they hate it,saying it just makes things that harder on them,trying to deliver on time and have that stupid machine breathing down your neck.ALL TRUCKERS HAVE TO CHEAT A LITTLE SOMETIMES.NOTE THAT I SAID A LITTLE.The companies want and need you to do this,but are so concerned with CYA they will never have the b***s to tell you that in plain English.OUR WORLD(THE HIGHWAY) IS RULED BY LAWYERS,and so are the trucking companies.

Hauling 4 U,

looking for a price list


I was a former (5 years) werner driver and really liked the paperless logs. For instance, when you stop for a break in a really unfamiliar area and forget how long you were there, the system automatically tracks your time and location. So stopping for rest at a reststop, offramp or wherever, no need to worry about where you are. the system knows. The only disadvantage is if you want to game the computer you have to plan ahead...which I learned to do but Id have to kill you to tell...haha


where can i find a paperless logs system for my personal use such as i can use in my own truck ?


Our company is in trial basis with paperless logs. Us drivers feel that our pay is going to be cut in half. We also feel that the company is going to suffer as well as the drivers. Why because right now we drive to our loads and work on them up to three hours logging off duty. So I don't know, once we move our truck to our loads, doesn't the logs start? Most of us have multiple drops. When we hit the drop point we log only fifteen minutes on duty and up to two or three hours off duty. Now it will be all on duty at the drops and we won't make the entire run like we ussually do. There are many disadvantages to this paperless log stuff. What about if you are 30 minutes away or more from a safe truck stop and you have to stop on the side of an unsafe road because your qualcom tells you that you are out of hours. I am dissapointed in this decision and will probably move on to another company.


How do they treat there female drivers

Werner Disp.,

We do not have the ability to turn off a truck's engine via a computer. If a driver goes over hours, they get in trouble, but the truck is still driveable to destination or safe haven.
Werner is a fantastic place to work.

Daddy O,

I'd like to see it used in reginal freight companies that are trying to run 200 plus miles from the yard and pedal 15 to 25 stops and back to the yard (in 14 hours)daily.


IS Werner a good company to work for and if so do they stand by there "drive time being maximized"


Ive had paperless logs for a long time. I use wood logs in my fireplace, does anyone else?

john r linnell,

yes panther is paperless and u.s xpress is some and will be all


Does anyone know if Panther II is using paperless logs..


xyz what are you talking about. If you are going to call someone an idiot you should at least have the courage not to hide behind xyz and use a proper nickname like the rest of us.



You're an idiot!


Don't they shut your truck off wheverer your at if you go over? I am a recruiter at a competitior and the number one reason people say they left Werner was paperless logs. I have heard of them shutting the truck down in traffic and making the drivers get a tow at their own expense rather than turning the engine back on.


Love paperless log system at
werner it save a lot of time
i also wish more companys had
it the paper less log is the
best thing about werner


i love the paperless log system just wish more trucking companys had it besides werner






If they do become mandatory in the future hundreds of thousands of independant operators like me will be out of business due to the added expense of paying someone else (Qualcomm) to electronically keep records on my driving.

Will be the worst blow since Carter de-regulated trucking.


I am sure it will catch on. This is great and hope all trucks and BUSES get the message.As an interstate bus driver it is a real pain to try to have to log when you cross state lines along with mileage etc and then at the end of the trip put it to paper with a ruler and pen.


Does anyone know if it is in the works, for paperless logs to be manitory in trucks in the near future?

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