Big Orange a source of vitamin e-logs

GREEN BAY, Wis. — One of North America’s largest truckload fleets, Schneider National, is moving to electronic logs for its more than 13,000 drivers.

The company decided on the move after a successful pilot program showing gains in productivity and safety, and driver testimonials indicating "they’ll never go back to using paper log books."

During a panel discussion hosted by Qualcomm at the American Trucking Associations’ annual management conference recently, Don Osterberg, Schneider’s senior vice president of safety, said "electronic logs were probably at the top of the list of things we were interested in pursuing" when it decided to beta test Qualcomm’s new MCP200 system, which has just been made commercially available. Osterberg, a big safety advocate, believes that based on the pilot program it’s been evaluating, the change will boost efficiency and reduce accidents.

"We have the opportunity to be far more precise," he said during the ATA panel discussion. "In 2009, how many industries are still hand-writing records of daily work?"

In a company-produced video Schneider is using to inform drivers about the new system, driver Andy Roberts, who has been testing the logs, explains that "It’s a tremendous asset and advantage to use it, because it’s taking that workload off of you and letting you spend your time driving the truck, interacting with customers, doing what you’re supposed to do instead of being a bookkeeper."

Schneider started outfitting its trucks with the MCP 200 system this month and plans to have all its trucks equipped by late next summer or early next fall. Other things the MCP200 system allows are text-to-speech conversion so drivers can safely get their messages while driving, voice-based street-level navigation, the ability to deliver video-based training directly to the cab of the truck, and wi fi Internet access for drivers.

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