Con-way Truckload announced that 71 percent of its 3,000-driver fleet is using electronic logs (e-logs), with full integration of the technology expected in June 2011. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is expected to make the adoption of e-logs mandatory for all carriers by 2014.

E-logs, also known as electronic onboard recorders or EOBRs, automatically capture hours-of-service data, reducing the potential for inaccuracies and risk of violations associated with paper logs, which negatively impact safety, on-time service, operational efficiencies and CSA scores, among other issues. Because satellite-based mobile communications units have been installed in Con-way Truckload tractors since 1994, the company was able to integrate e-logs at a minimal cost. And, as a result of reduced costs associated with providing and managing traditional paper-based log books, the company has achieved 59 percent savings to date.

"We understand that the transition to e-logs presents some anxiety for drivers, based primarily on fear of the unknown and the difficulty of transitioning from a manual practice that has been used in the trucking industry for years," said Bert Johnson, senior director of human resources and driver recruitment, Con-way Truckload. "By voluntarily moving our drivers to e-logs now, we can ensure that they are comfortable with the paperless system well ahead of FMCSA's mandate. Additionally, we can begin to realize the safety benefits today versus three years from now, which aligns with our core value of safety and mission to protect both our drivers and the motoring public."

Con-way Truckload began testing e-logs in February 2010 and started integrating the system in its trucks fleetwide in November. Currently 2,145 drivers are using e-logs, with another 75 drivers transitioning to the system each week, on average.

One of Con-way Truckload's long-time drivers, Gary Sorell, was selected to use e-logs first.

"When I started using e-logs in March 2010, I wasn't sure what to expect; now, I wouldn't give it back," said Sorell. "With a computer to do all of the work, a driver doesn't need to spend time filling out a paper log or calculating hours manually. There is no way to make a mistake, which eliminates log violations and makes it easy to work with the Department of Transportation."