Drivers Daily Log Software

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Hawker, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Rollover the Original

    Rollover the Original Road Train Member

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    Yes that laptop is nice! I first started with an Ibm ThinkPad back in the early 90's and then went to homebuilt tower units as games were a lot cheaper to play in the truck than going in and stuffing quarters in a pinball machine!

    Thermal printers I would be wary of! I've gone to look at receipts that were a few years old in old tax files and they do fade over time and if they get to warm everything gets dark and it's almost useless! If they are kept in a truck that is shut off say in Phoenix for a weekend I wonder what the receipts would look like! That is NOT a good thing if an IRS audit comes along and half of your proof is ineligible! Stick with ink and yep put it on your taxes!
    OH WOW that little thermal printer is over $3000! Thats a pretty penny! LOL It would be nice if all of these companies would realize thast an email with an attachment of what they need works better than old technoilogy fax is! Costs them and us a lot less to get with the times! Fax?? How yeasteryear can you get! But them some people have a hard time keeping anti virus up to date when it's capiable of working automatically! Or figuring out how to click on something thats not a nude picture!
     
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  3. Broken Spoke

    Broken Spoke Medium Load Member

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Tucson Arizona
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    They have made advancements in the thermal printer paper it is much thicker then it has been and resists fading better.The paper this one uses claims to have a 7 year non fading lifespan, I would only need the copies for 7 days on the road. I would not be using this printer for log copies for long term storage, only for requested on the spot DOT requests 7 days maximum The printer by the way isn't $3000. it was less then $300.00. I will be storing the DDL copies in a memory stick if I need permanent copies I will use a ink jet printer. You can get stuff printed at most truck stops and copy stores for pennies,and you don't have to lug around a normal size copier. as you can see in the provided video link http://alatest.com/popup/pic_gallery/1823/#videosthe copies provided by this printer are good and sharp. I think that this printer will work just fine for the DOT regulations regarding electronic log book use. I will be able to print clearly readable log sheets on the spot and physically sign the log sheets at a inspection. The total I paid for the computer and printer set together + the DDL software was $432.63. That is less then the cost of one quality notebook computer alone. And who knows it might even be less then the log book ticket will cost me. I am a newbie and have lots to learn, but I think this log book tool kit together with the DDL software will be most useful!. (besides I cant add!) I guess if it doesn't work out I can sell the whole thing to a Swift driver! LOL
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  4. Rollover the Original

    Rollover the Original Road Train Member

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    Jul 1, 2009
    Springfield,MO
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    I meant $300 just 1 to many zeros there! The good thing is with the IRS you can keep all your logs and receipts on digital files. Just have 2 copies! 1 in a good secure fireproof safe and 1 in the banks vault. Also remember CD's and a lot of electronic media does not have a long shelf life. Yes the CD of Madonna will last almost forever but it's "pressed" more than written. I would even look into some of these on line storage sites.
    As to the printer in the truck, unless you just need one get the flatbed one but I'd just get the scanner and scan everything to a file as you still have the hard copy till you send it in to get paid on. You can back everything up after it's all been scanned to whatever your 2nd copy goes to.

    If they have improved the thermal printer I guess that is an ok way to go but just be sure not to use it for something you might need to go to in 10 years. And here in lies the catch. The IRS can call for records after that 7 year thing we all believe to be set in stone! It's not, it can be many years past that imaginary 7 year limit! I have every tax record going back to 1971 when I went into the Army and I've pulled 11 years out and gone in for an audit! Keep them all, so a thermo printer I'd be a little leary of for making records you need to hang on to for "life!"
     
  5. Broken Spoke

    Broken Spoke Medium Load Member

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Tucson Arizona
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  6. Broken Spoke

    Broken Spoke Medium Load Member

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Tucson Arizona
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    Today I finished assembling my kit! I now have a laptop computer (this model http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=T32-110001 with Internet card running the DDL software, a copier (this model-http://alatest.com/popup/pic_gallery/1823/#videos, a scanner This model- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=A333-1072and fax machine- http://www.fax.com/index.jsp and mounted it inside this http://www.officemax.com/catalog/sk...ne~1^region~1^param~return_skus^return_skus~Y I am quite sure that this tool kit wont take up much room in a cab of a truck!. The whole thing needs no inverters or external power to run, battery lasts 7+ hours on a charge, and is completely portable . Dimensions are Height: 11.75", Width: 17", Depth: 2.25" and weighs less then 9 pounds total cant get much smaller then that! (I know.... too much time on my hands!) but you have to admit it was quite a feat of engineering! James Bond would be proud! LOL! I also E Mailed Bruce at DDL and asked him to view this kit and advise me if he thought it would be compliant at a DOT inspection. His response was....."Yes the "Kit" seems to work well for you. " (DISCLAIMER) I am not advertising endorsing or selling these listed components or services I receive no benefit by sharing them here, I only list them for interested drivers that might want to review and use all or some of these components for themselves . All these components are off the shelf bought by me at full retail price for my needs and use only. I took many hours to find these products, research and read reviews before I picked up this stuff. I didn't want to have my truck cab space filled up with LARGE size components. I figured it might save a driver some time, and much needed cab space! Besides, it makes a cool office on wheels!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
    itsapartydude Thanks this.
  7. Broken Spoke

    Broken Spoke Medium Load Member

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Tucson Arizona
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    Today, I experimented with the new printer I got for running the DDL software and printing out the required log pages for DOT regulation. As I stated before this printer with case is only the size of a small pencil case, needs NO messy toners,inks or supplies other then the paper you are printing on, it also requires no external power to run. I ran 3 test prints taken from the DDL software. The supplied CD disk loaded the drivers and software into my net book in 2 minutes I have windows 7 in this net book. I will have to say, the print quality is amazingly GOOD! The sharpness rivals the best ink jet I have seen. all 3 copies completed amazingly fast too (under 1 minute). This printer also has many fewer moving parts then a regular copier. The paper feed roller is the only moving part, the print head covers the whole length of the paper and as such doesn't scroll back and forth like a normal printer head does. This I feel is a good thing with a component subjected to the rigorous vibrations that occurs in the cab of a semi going down the road!. All and All (in my opinion) I give this copier a 5 star rating and think a driver will find its compact size ,build quality and print quality acceptable!. The one thing I would recommend is to buy extra paper from the vendor you decide to buy this product from, The paper is hard to find (if not impossible) in retail stores. I ordered 1000 extra sheets and stored them at my home. The copier does come with a box of 100 sheets from the factory. Anyway, I hope this might answer any questions a driver might have regarding this product.//" (DISCLAIMER) I am not advertising endorsing or selling these listed components or services I receive no benefit by sharing them here, I only list them and review them for myself or other interested drivers that might want to review and use all or some of these components for themselves . All these components are off the shelf bought by me at full retail price for my needs and use only. I took many hours to find these products, research and read reviews before I picked up this stuff. I didn't want to have my truck cab space filled up with LARGE size components. I figured it might save a driver some time, and much needed cab space!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  8. Dieselboss

    Dieselboss Technology Contributor

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    So help me understand this setup. Total cost must be somewhere around $850? (not including aircard fees or an inverter)

    - Do you have a GPS?
    - Do you open that attaché case when you stop and take it all out to use it? Or is it somehow mounted?
    - If you have no inverters or external power, how do you charge that stuff? It all periodically has to be plugged into your 12V sockets? And you say 7+ hours on a charge. Is that the same for all of it (scanner, printer, fax, netbook, etc)

    I like how miniaturized everything is, but just trying to understand overall cost and the logistics of using it. Thanks.
     
  9. Broken Spoke

    Broken Spoke Medium Load Member

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    Tucson Arizona
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    In answer to your many questions yes you have to open the case in order to use the equipment, I can place the case on my lap and run all the stuff. and no you don't have to remove any of the devices for use all the equipment operates while inside the case. yes,the 7+ hour charge is for running all the equipment at one time. I do have a small 100watt (shirt pocket size inverter if charging is necessary on the road I paid $11.00 for it at Wally World) but you could also just carry the case inside the truck stop restaurant and charge it while having coffee, a briefcase wouldn't look out of place there I bet. Although most net books have a 4 cell battery, The net book model I chose has a 6 cell NiMH battery, Charge time to 100% is about 1 hour if battery is totally discharged less time if you only want to top off the battery . I did not install the GPS option as I intend to get a stand alone 7" device for this option, I feel using this case for GPS would be hard to do because of the case size, not to mention the pain it could cause in a sudden stop! LOL I guess you could do this if you wanted to though but you better secure it well . As you can see the total costs of all the equipment together is about what you would pay for 1 quality laptop alone. Also since this equipment is used for job related activity it may even be deductible (I am checking on this with my tax man). As far as Internet connection I chose to have a airtime card for my convenience but you could choose to use free or low cost public Internet wireless the net book has a wireless card inside. I hope this helps you with your questions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  10. Dieselboss

    Dieselboss Technology Contributor

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    :biggrin_2559: Let me clarify.


    We outfit rigs with various electronic goodies as a business. When someone here mentions a product that was helpful, or "possibly helpful" we sometimes look into acquiring it and testing it. Some products "survive" the testing and some go up in flames under the conditions that truckers have to operate in. We have customized many rigs over the years with various laptop mounts, satellite tv, over-the-air tv, GPS's, etc.

    When you started posting about your gear it caught my attention because of its compact nature. So I started pricing out all of it from your links but had those remaining questions on how we would compete this scenario for practical use. We've created hundreds of combinations over the years and just had not seen the "all in one briefcase" option, nor have we tried out those ultra mini scanners and faxes.

    Hope that helps.


    Sorry to ask one more, but what brand of inverter is that??? A 100 amp inverter that fits in your pocket and costs $11.00 is another thing we haven't seen.
     
  11. Broken Spoke

    Broken Spoke Medium Load Member

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Tucson Arizona
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    Sorry I miss spoke! The pocket size inverter is 100 watts not 100 amps! it is more then enough for charging purposes,and wont violate trucking companies inverter rules. I also have this in the case
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
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