More and more, drivers are downloading mobile apps to make their personal and professional lives easier. (And, hey, who couldn’t use a little of that?) Like everyone else, they want to eliminate time-intensive paper pushing tasks and automate as much of their mind-numbing work as possible with user-friendly applications. e-Log mobile apps are no exception.
We happen to be awfully big proponents of mobile solutions, so it’s a trend we’re excited to see—and one we expect will continue to grow. However, some of these drivers may believe they’re being proactive, when, in reality, they’re not operating with a compliant e-log solution.
There are so many mobile apps on the market today, how can you be sure you’re in the clear?
Here’s what you need to know…
The core components of a compliant e-Log mobile app
A mobile e-log app must comply with FMCSA regulation 395.15, and to do that, it must:
- Allow you to update your duty status, but only when your truck is not in motion
- Allow law enforcement to easily review your digital HOS records
- Be tamper proof
- Synchronize to your truck’s engine, or other engine equipment
And that last point is a biggie.
There are a number of mobile apps on the market that record your Hours of Service using GPS tracking only, and those apps can yield inaccurate logs.
For example, if a driver left their yard, made a circuit around town, and arrived back at their yard, the GPS would suggest they drove 0 miles—when, in fact, it took 17 to lap the downtown area.
However, a solution that’s “integrally synchronized” with your truck’s engine can track those miles accurately. (You can check out FMCSA regulation 395.2 for definitions containing the rule for engine synchronization.)
So, if you downloaded an e-log mobile app from Google Play or iTunes and that was the extent of your installation, you’re not running a solution that meets current FMCSA standards.
How does a compliant mobile e-log solution work?
In the case of XRS, you connect a hockey puck-sized device to your truck’s engine. And that device—called the XRS Relay—then transfers data wirelessly to your mobile device via a Bluetooth connection.
Your mobile device can then store your data to the cloud.
You can still automate data recording, review and edit your logs from your mobile device, and receive audible alerts when you’re reaching the end of your available hours of service, but the XRS Relay’s connection to the engine ensures your data is accurate and you’re complying with FMCSA regulations.
It really couldn’t be any easier.
Do you have any questions about mobile apps for truckers? We’d love to field them, so fire away.