Drivers Daily Log Program (DDL) - Is It Worth The Hassle?

I get alot of questions concerning DDL, or the Drivers Daily Log Program. It is a program that’s goal is to make logging easier for the driver. My problem with the program is that in my situation it does not do this. Since my goal with a computer in a truck is to make things easier, I do not promote this software product.

First off, let me say that the program is a really cool idea and it does accomplish it’s goal of computerizing the truck driver’s log book – a little bit. The program’s creator is a talented programmer, but the last time I checked, Drivers Daily Log only partially fulfills the goal of having a driver do his log book on the computer.

A log book is a document with the final purpose of communicating to legal authorities the operations that a driver performs. This document is stored for later reference. A driver simply logs his activities and uses the log as a reference to ensure he is within legal parameters. He must submit these logs to his company or retain them for his own use if he is a private contractor. It is a simple document to maintain with pen and paper.

I have been doing logbooks since 1990 and the match comes very easily in my head with few errors. My penmanship is good enough that I do get many complaints from those who read my logs. It takes only a few seconds to make an entry into my log and it is readily available if requested by authorities. It can take more than a few minutes to make a simple entry with Drivers Daily Log if I do not already have the laptop up and running.

Drivers Daily Log or “DDL” is done on a laptop. This laptop must be operating to access the log, if it’s not, I’m effectively running without a logbook, a serious offense. Also -

  • Actions of the program are a bit quirky due to the unique properties of the program. There’s no other program like it, so the average driver must learn new skills to do a very basic operation.
  • The documentation, in my opinion, is a little bit confusing. There is quite a bit of trail and error involved in learning the program.
  • There is no easy method of sending an image of the document to a user. You can only print the document (this may be changed). If the author does add this functionality, the user will need to learn about imaging, PDF’s, etc. In many cases, the companies would need trained also. From what I understand, the company is required to purchase another proprietary product from the author to read the log. If you must print them, now you need a space wasting printer in the truck.
  • Price – this thing is fairly expensive, about $95.
  • The company website, like the documentation,  is sketchy and hard to follow. I don’t like to see the “bug report” and user forum on software that is this expensive. I want real documentation and a well designed website. This website is very much like the Open Source projects that I use, but Open Source is generally free and/or inexpensive.
  • The proprietary nature of the program limits it’s usability with other common programs. The output from this program is not easily portable to programs like OpenOffice or Microsoft Office.

I’m not saying not use DDL, I’m saying it’s not what some people would claim it to be. If you’re having trouble with math or penmanship, this program could improve your performance and reduce the risks of fines due to log book violations. If you’re company is onboard with this company and is laying out the investment, sure go along and use it. For a driver in my situation, Drivers Daily Log software can create problems instead of solving them.

The program is evolving and I look for competition in this market to improve trucking software like this soon. I will keep looking for other solutions that meet or exceed the need. Sometimes waiting a on a full solution is better than accepting a half-solution.

8 comments to Drivers Daily Log Program (DDL) – Is It Worth The Hassle?

  • Anonymous

    There is a new software out at laptoplogbook.com. This is a simple program, but still needs to be printed. you only need the internet to download it and it can be sent via e-mail to your company.

  • mspearman

    Their website doesn’t work well in Firefox. This is a sign of inattention to detail for a software company. I am very cautious of companies pushing software to trucking because they know they have an industry full of folks that may be lacking tech skills. I would not recommend this software yet.

  • Anonymous

    I can not speak to how their website loads in Firefox but I like the program.  It is easy to use and prints a nice siginature ready log. 

  • Anonymous

    I love the program!! Prints out a very neat log book that can be read easily. It looks and works like a paper log book , but does all the math for you. I also love the fact that you can push one button and all your companies info, driver info, equipment info,etc. is there and you don’t have to write it all in on the form daily. As for the comment about truckers not being Hi-tech, if you can fill out a paper logbook you can fill one out on laptop logbook easier.

  • Anonymous

    Yes I like too. Found Daily Log by Chad. I like too but can’t seem to contact this person to unlock. Anyone heard of this?

  • Anonymous

    DDL IS NICE BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY CUSTOMER SUPPORT. AT ONE POINT THE PERSON TOLD THAT I SHOULD GO TO GET INTO A LONG COMPUTER COURSE  FOR WINDOWS! HEY I DRIVE A FRIGGIN TRUCK AND CAN NOT SHUT DOWN TO TAKE A COURSE ON COMPUTER SOFTWARE THAT IS WHY I BOUGHT THIS LOG SOFTWARE. ANY WAY THEY NEED TO DO MORE FOR THE CUSTOMER’S THE PROGRAM IS REAL NICE BUT VERY HARD TO NAVIGAT THROUGH UNLESS YOU ARE VERY VERY COMPUTER LET. I CAN GET ALLMOST ANY THING ACROSS NORTH AMERICA AND DO (I RUN NORTH OF MEXICO TO THE ARTIC) BUT BEING ABLE TO GO THROUGH A SOFTWARE PROGRAM I CAN NOT DO. SO WHEN THEY DO NOT RETURN CALLS WITH PROBLEMS IT LEAVES ALOT TO BE DESIRED

      DAVID COX

    LANDSTAR

  • mspearman

    That’s the point that I was trying to make in the article. It’s not a bad piece of software if you’re willing to go through the hassle and you’re advanced with computer skills. The problem is that it is not easy to use and if you’re getting along with paper logs, there’s no real advantage to this program. The time savings is minimal.

    The only real advantage I see is that there are checks to alert you when you are making violations. Some of these are even questionable as the programmers have some arguable violations that come up.

    Don’t put your money into this unless you are willing to put up with the hassles and problems it creates. It’s not miracle software by a long shot.

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