Anyone know of a free log book app?
Log Book App for Phone or Laptop
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Next question is do you have a mobile computer mount, if so which one? I may be getting some of these things in the near future. Some time next month, I'm suppose to get a new FUGLY truck, a T800, so I want to wait to see how messed up the interior of this thing is.
If your company requires you use their log sheets, can't do too much about that. I do print my log page at the end of every day, do my mileage and fuel recording at the same time. I have a printer/scanner on board. I believe there is a fax option to send your log sheets, but you need a fax machine obviously.
Congratulations on the new truck. Hope you like it. I don't have a mobile mount, but may at sometime in the future. Right now my laptop rides (closed) on the jump seat.
1. Although we are finding (more every day) that DOT officers have gotten more and more comfortable with driver usage of E-logs (NOT to be confused with OBR's by the way) - they can, per the regs, require that you have a "signed, paper version of your last 8 days" available upon demand. For this reason we strongly recommend that E-log users have a printer and a three-ring binder or folder with at least the last 7 days in it and "today" either printed up to your last duty status change or available on the screen at the time of inspection. Conversely we also know that it is not uncommon for the inspector to simply look at your screen and that's it because they are familiar with programs (especially DDL and Eclipse.) I can hear some of your heads nodding now...
HOWEVER, if the driver does not have a printer, there are still very strong merits anyway. Your paper logs will never have an accidental violation if you are running them on a proper program because (unlike your paper log) the program will TURN RED and show you instantly that you are making a mistake. Also, it will do the math for your recap such that you don't accidentally do a mathematical error there (which is more common than you may think.) Also, some drivers are unaware of some of the more "tricky aspects" of 8-2 splits and an E-log will let you run that scenario to see if you got it right.
2. The first phase of new FMCSA rules goes into affect in 30 days. Although this first phase is much less complicated (or controversial) than the next phase, drivers will be expected to be in compliance. A proper E-log will account for changes that you have to comply - with but may not be fully used to yet in your head.
3. Yes, both Eclipse and DDL (the only two that I test or discuss or recommend at this writing) will allow you to print the log sheets as PDF files and email them to your carrier or any other computer - thereby eliminating the penmanship issue and make then easily readable or scannable at the office. (I recommend that everyone get a free copy of "CutePDF" so that they can make ANYTHING into a pdf file when needed anyway.)
4. When it comes to equipment mounting, the DOT can (and does) issue tickets for "unsecured equipment violation." So yes, if you are going through the coops and have your laptop or tablet just sitting on the seat, dash, console, etc. I would close that bad boy up and stash it first. Better yet, just make or buy a legal mount.
Hope that helps...
(my truth in posting policy in effect as always: On this one, YES - I am affiliated with both Eclipse log programs and Ram mounting systems.)
you can subscribe to some type of internet fax service. the cost is really cheap. no need to have an actual fax device. as long as you have a scanner of some type and internet service. you have fax capabilities.
you can buy a 150 watt inverter for cheap. and it's more then enough for a laptop, and printer which are also cheap.
as for a laptop mount. it's just one more thing to get in the way when you want to crawl back into the sleeper. and you won't be using your laptop unless your parked anyways.
i stash my laptop behind the passenger seat. hwen i want to use it. i unplug the cord. and tilt my sterring wheel up to use as a table for my laptop.
i never run my laptop with it plugged into the inverter. inverters don't produce the same wave type of ac current as house and can fry delicate electronics.
i had a brand new dell last only 4 months.
On the other hand, if your company is not "on file" then no need to worry: the rep will have you send in a blank page from your logbook (not a copy, but the actual page itself). Then programmers then create a template for your company and, when it's ready, they'll have you update your program so that you now have the template. This only has to be done once per company so, if someone else in your company already did this, then your carrier is already "on file" and anyone else driving for the company only need ask for the template. When I did this for our company it only took less than a week; but it could take up to 2 weeks if they're really busy.
Concerning faxing your logs: does your company use Transflo? If yes then you're in luck. Transflo actually makes a standalone program for scanning and submitting your paperwork. It's pretty much the same program that you see when you use the Transflo kiosks at the truck stop. Of course, you need a scanner to use it. Not sure how much the program costs, or if it even costs anything (I downloaded it for free from my company's website, but I believe you can also get it from Transflo directly).
IMHO it makes more sense to go this route if you have your own internet access. If you're relying on truck stop wifi for your access then you could just as easily get out of the truck, walk to the building and use the kiosk inside, making this whole thing a waste of time and money. On the other hand it's nice knowing that I can still scan my paperwork, even if I'm in the middle of BFE with no facilities around for miles.
I have been using Eclipse for a couple months now and really like it. My only gripe is I don't understand why you would make a laptop program and not build a email option into it. I bought a $29 HP printer a Wally World and after printing my log, I use an Android app called camscanner to photo the log, convert it to a PDF file and email it to company.
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