The Pro’s & Cons: Paper Logs vs Electronic Logs


Many drivers are skeptical about trading in their beloved paper logbooks for the new electronic logging devices. They don’t want to give up a system that they are used to and learn a completely new one, especially when they feel like there’s nothing wrong with paper logs in the first place.

Most drivers were not fans of the electronic logging mandate at first, to say the least. However, many early adopters of electronic logging devices are actually giving ELDs great reviews. See, there are many things that ELDs do that paper logs simply can’t. Today, we’re comparing paper logs and ELDs side-by-side to show you the pros and cons of each.

Paper Logs: Pros and Cons


  • If you’re a driver, paper logging is likely the system that you are most familiar with.
  • With paper logs, drivers have the opportunity to turn more miles. (However, this can also be a con. See below.)


  • Driving, especially for the long-haul, is undoubtedly exhausting. Drivers have often pressured to overwork themselves, resulting in drowsy driving and burnt-out drivers.
    Paper logs make it easy for this to happen.
  • Paper logs make audits more difficult and roadside inspections more lengthy.
  • Paper logs must be manually filled out. This means more time spent filling out paperwork, resulting in decreased productivity.
  • These logs cannot be easily searched, making it difficult to locate specific entries.
  • Paper logs can be easily damaged, and handwriting may be hard to decipher.
  • There are no added benefits and features offered to the driver.
  • Paper logs are often submitted weeks after the fact, long after violations have occurred.

Electronic Logging Devices: Pros and Cons


  • ELDs are easy to use. All you have to do is start driving, and the system will automatically record your hours. This eliminates time spent on filling out paperwork, increasing productivity and even saving drivers money.
  • With everything stored electronically, drivers don’t have to worry about keeping up with papers.
  • ELDs cut down on driver harassment.
  • Drivers can search for specific records with ease.
  • ELDs can tell drivers when to take a break and get some rest, improving driver safety and alertness
  • ELDs offer technology and benefits that paper logbooks can’t, like route mapping and planning, GPS tracking, fuel monitoring, load matching, and more.


  • Paper is free. ELDs aren’t. While electronic logging devices are an added expense, they certainly do not have to be expensive. Check out our My20 ELD, with rates as low as $25 per month.
  • For drivers who have been using paper logbooks for years, an ELD may take some time to get used to.

Don’t Knock It ‘til You Try It

People are creatures of habit. They prefer to stick to what they know – and once they find a system that works for them, they are reluctant to change it. This is how many drivers currently feel about adopting electronic logs. However, when you take a look at the pros and cons of each system side-by-side, you’ll start to see that maybe ELDs aren’t so bad after all – and once you get used to it, you may never look back.