Teaching the Scary Technology

Jan. 23, 2015

The most difficult time I have ever had in my experience in industry training was when our fleet went to e-logs. Every day I was faced with a litany of “Big Brother” complaints followed by a complete resistance to try to get it right. Only through coercion and down-right threats would we get anyone to try to get it right.

There were many times I thought that the drivers were purposely messing up to try to get the company to change their mind about using e-logs. I actually had a driver partially admit this once, “If I can’t get the hang of this do you think they’ll just let me keep doing it the old way?” The fear was real and the scary technology had everyone blown out of the water and scrambling for life-jackets. There was another driver who asked me, “If I pay you, would you be on-call for me every time I need to use this machine?” I asked him what he meant by that (I was already “on-call” to trouble shoot user interface problems for drivers) and he said, “I’ll just call you every time I need to do something on it.”

Eventually they came around (not all of them) and we had a pretty good crew using the system in our trucks. I will never forget how hard it was, though, re-training drivers in using new technology to help with the job they had been doing for years.

Now I am the Curriculum Coordinator at Crowder College Transport Training in Neosho, MO and it has come time to write a curriculum to teach e-logs to students. The task should be a bit easier this time: No one (or at least statistically speaking no one) in our program has ever used paper logs and now has to transition to the new scary technology.

I know we will face different problems, however, because we are used to teaching HOS by letting students practice completing a mock-log (on paper) of the time they spend in the program. We have great results from seeing how a driver identifies with the on-duty and driving lines on the book and how they relate to being on a driving team with other drivers. Who has been teaching this? The instructors who were drivers before the scary technology was used in full swing in the trucking industry. We are hanging up our paper and embracing the scary technology and we will have our hands full.

I want to know how you moved from the paper system to e-logs in your company. Was this a hard transition or did your training go fairly seamlessly? What was the most difficult part of training drivers in moving from paper to electronics? Are you just now considering making the push and do you have reservations about teaching your fleet this new technology? Are you a school who feels the push to teach entry level drivers this technology because of the mandate? If you are a school, let me know how you intend to get the students access to the interface without having to pay for a, “back-office”? Are your instructors prepared to teach a technology that many of them have not had to use?

Please leave your response by commenting to this post. I am looking forward to your comments!

About the Author

Brandon Wooden | Curriculum Coordinator

With over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, Wooden currently serve as the Curriculum Coordinator for Crowder College’s Transport Training program in Neosho, Missouri. He is responsible for developing and supervising the commercial motor vehicle, entry-level driver training curriculum and training methods.

Wooden earned his driver certification from Crowder and began driving for Sitton Motor Lines in 1993.  He subsequently worked as a driver trainer at McKee Foods (a.k.a. Little Debbie) for 17 years before taking a full-time instructor position at Crowder in 2012.

Wooden received a Master’s degree in career and technical education from the University of Central Missouri and is currently pursuing an Education Doctorate in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning from the University of Arkansas. He regularly speaks on the subject of adult education, training methodology, motivation and coaching, and is also involved in research in training methodology for the truck driving industry.

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry at our April 16th webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive pay...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!