Tech vendors adapt quickly to new hours rules

As the trucking industry transitions to the revised hours-of-service rules that went into effect Saturday, Oct. 1, software and technology vendors are announcing updates to help carriers manage compliance before the rules are enforced.

Innovative Computing Corp. announced that customers using its Innovative Enterprise Software (IES) Hours of Service or Driver Logs modules will be able to track driver hours and logs directly through their software system using the latest 2005 Hours of Service Rules.

Ernie Betancourt, CEO of the Brentwood, Tenn.-based software provider, said that the company rewrote these modules in 2003 using object-oriented and table-driven programming techniques, a move that made the software easier to change this time around – and again, if necessary.

“This modern architecture allows us to continue to proactively address changes as needed and enable our customers to keep current with the ever-changing rules of the industry and the changing opportunities of technology,” he says.

PeopleNet, a provider of onboard computing and mobile communications, announced that its onboard communications platform has been updated to comply with the new rules.

“We have been monitoring the government’s progress on the rules and have worked tirelessly to update our system so our customers wouldn’t skip a beat as the new rules went into effect and are enforced,” says Ron Konezny, chief operating officer of PeopleNet. Customers operating PeopleNet systems are being notified of the updates, and deployment is under way through the company’s Over-the-Air-Programming (OTAP) feature, he says.

Mobile communications and satellite tracking provider Qualcomm Inc. currently is making changes in a soon-to-be released HOS product for its OmniTracs product, says Norm Ellis, Qualcomm’s vice president and general manager, transportation and logistics.

“We may release it despite the legal battles. We have already updated the code to reflect changes,” Ellis says. Qualcomm has several customers beta-testing its Web-based HOS product now. Data from drivers’ electronic logs and a fleet management application will be hosted in San Diego. Customers can manage HOS online or extract data into their own software environment as appropriate, Ellis says.