Teaching the Scary Technology

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!

TAGS: News Safety
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.