Veteran Douglas Hinckley came to trucking later in life. His illustrious career as an officer in the U.S. Army saw him stationed in Fort Lewis, Vietnam, Germany, Fort Bragg and Fort Hood. Upon retiring from a life of military service, after stints as a high school teacher and a defense contractor, he decided to try his hand at driving big rigs.
Upon getting his CDL, he out started out for a major carrier becoming an owner-operator within 6 months. It was 3 years later that his younger brother convinced him he’d be much happier as an owner-operator at the small company he worked for.
Now hauling flatbed for Grub Hill Transportation, along with Helen the Jack Rat Terrier, Doug gets the luxury of picking his own destinations. He loves to visit new places and the freedom of the open road.
On a recent tour, he was on the I-65 heading into Kentucky when he had to pull into the Mitchellville Weigh Station. After weighing in, Doug was then subjected to a Level II walk around inspection.
When asked to produce his logs Doug told the DOT inspector was using electronic logs. The officer then asked if he could print them and Doug politely said he had the ability print, email or fax his logs. The officer was happy with a fax and went off to fetch them after Doug sent them.
“I was sweating bullets,” recounted Doug, “this guy went over them with a fine-tooth comb”.
Doug had just seen another driver get placed out of service for 10 hours for falsified logs. However, even with the officer’s detailed scrutinizing, his whole ordeal only lasted about 5 minutes. The officer reported back these were the cleanest logs he’d ever seen.
All told, Doug’s inspection was just under 35 minutes and with the scale he was back on the road in 40 minutes.
“With paper-logs inspections you’d be stuck there over an hour” enthused Doug. If there’s one thing that’s remained a constant in his life, it’s his hatred of paperwork and naturally he had enough of that in the military.
“I once tried an electronic logging program on the laptop, but without GPS it was useless,” he told us
Doug has tried a few of electronic logging options in the past, “I once tried an electronic logging program on the laptop, but without GPS it was useless.”
It just makes life easier.
BigRoad was a product that he’d heard about from other drivers. However, one day while listening to the Dave Nemo Show, he decided to give it a try. During the show, Rick Gobbell had been talking about form and manner issues, how they caused the most hours of service violations and how electronic logs could eliminate them.
It quickly became apparent this tool would help him run his business from his cab. Not only could he eliminate all form and manner issues, it would track hours of service for him, keep him compliant with hours of service, keep track of his record keeping and best of all remove all that paperwork.
So what does Doug like about BigRoad compared to other solutions? “It does all the same things as Qualcomm but for a fraction of the price. I can quickly see my graph and the clock counting down. I like that you can see all your trucks on the dispatch side and the instant messaging. It takes a second to send my logs back to the lady at the office,” he said before concluding “It just makes life easier.”