ELDs…You Know it Don’t Come Easy

For drivers accustomed to tracking their hours of service on paper for years, transitioning to ELDs don’t come easy. Just ask Wes Memphis, a pseudonym for a former owner-operator-turned-driver who switched nearly two years ago from paper to electronic logs and guest writes occasionally as a blogger for Overdrive. He describes the experience as being like an amputee dealing with phantom limb syndrome. Wes guest-blogged about his experience on Overdrive’s Channel 19, where his blogs still periodically appear.

“I can’t tell you how many times I reached for that log book in those first months on e-logs, as if prompted by a phantom limb,” he explained in an article Overdrive recently ran. Wes talked about the learning curve and some hard lessons you can experience such as how with paper logs you can be accustomed to relying on trailer numbers posted on the log sheet when filling out your trip report. If you don’t write those trailer numbers down, and you’re unfamiliar with how to retrieve the information from the ELD, you can quickly find yourself in a world of hurt.

After the recent April 1 deadline for ELD mandate enforcement, perhaps you’re experiencing that difficult transition from paper to e-logs? If so, Wes offers some sage advice from someone who’s been down that road on how to survive it. Here are a couple of his tips:

  1. Allow yourself to have three major, we’re talkin’ China Syndrome meltdowns. Wes says after his third and final episode, he walked into his boss’s office fully prepared to offer his two-weeks’ notice. “I was completely disarmed when he said, ‘you’re getting ready to quit me, aren’t you?’ Slowly and skillfully he talked me off the ledge.”
  2. Realize that in a rapidly changing world, the ability to unlearn is as important as the ability to learn. Wes advises if you, like he was, are considered by others as the go-to or make-it-happen guy, the runner, unlearn that habit pronto. Wes says some good will come from it. For him, dreams of truck wrecks that have hounded him since 1987 have ceased.

Like many, Wes found the transition from paper to electronics frustrating at first, to say the least. And even though he first saw e-logs as the imposition of a left-brained structure on a largely right-brained population, now he says he would never go back to paper, even if he could.

To read more, visit Overdrive’s web site – https://www.overdriveonline.com/brave-new-trucking-world-talking-eld-angst-adjustment-with-gary-buchs-plus-wes-memphis-latest/ or take a look on page 12 of the February 2018 issue.