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Background of Electronic Logging Device

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Werner Enterprises launched the pilot program in June 1998. The idea behind electronic logs stemmed from C.L. Werner, founder, and Executive Chairman. His motives involved more than just satisfying the Department of Transportation — his main concern was for the safety of professional drivers and the motoring public.

After six years of testing, Werner became the only trucking company in the United States to be granted exemption from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to utilize its Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to record drivers’ hours-of-service. The two-year exemption was a milestone for Werner and the trucking industry.

Based on Werner’s performance, the FMCSA stated the exemption achieves a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the use of paper logs. FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg formally signed the exemption Dec. 2, 2004, recognizing Werner’s outstanding creativity in the use of GPS to accurately track and report the work activities of professional drivers.

“This supports federal HOS regulations that help to ensure truck drivers get ample rest and, consequently, are more alert behind the wheel. Innovation and technology are critical to achieving our goal of improving safety on the nation’s highways,” Sandberg said.

Timeline:

  • 1992 - Werner installs QualcommTM satellite communications in its trucks.
  • 1994 - C. L. Werner directs the Werner management team to develop technology to improve safety and eliminate the hassle drivers experience with paper logbooks. Werner begins investigating and initiating electronic logs as a feature of its established satellite technology.
  • 1995 - Werner drivers begin testing electronic logs while continuing to use traditional paper logbooks.
  • 1996 - Werner contacts the FHWA regarding its use of electronic logs. The FHWA is enthusiastic about the system and approves Werner’s continued testing of the technology. Improvements in the system continue during the year.
  • 1997 - Werner makes a final commitment to electronic logs and runs tests with approximately 2,000 drivers; traditional paper logbooks continue to be maintained.
  • April 1998 - Werner’s innovative approach to electronic logs enters into the Federal Register.
  • June 10, 1998 - The FHWA officially authorizes Werner’s adoption of electronic logs and discontinuance of paper logbooks.
  • Sept. 21, 2004 - The FMCSA grants Werner exemption from paper log usage.
  • Dec. 2, 2004 - Werner is formally granted exemption from the FMCSA to utilize GPS technology to record drivers’ hours-of-service.
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