EOBR: The Coming Imperative

Electronic onboard recorders (EOBR) have been stirring emotions both positive and negative since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration first created a rule requiring their use. That rule may have been nullified by a court decision, but I wouldn't count EOBRs off the table.

As a human race we are hesitant to change and important legislation and technological advancements have always been met with a level of resistance. Airplanes, automobiles and even electricity were all vehemently opposed when first invented, despite their crucial status in the modern world. This resistance is where EOBR devices find themselves these days, but just as electricity became a necessity, I believe this technology will become critical to the success of the trucking industry.

Electric onboard recorders provide a number of positive features and efficiencies. No longer do drivers need to waste time computing metrics and being concerned about miscalculations. Time can be spent driving instead of compiling paperwork, key to workers who get paid by the mile and not by the hour. Technology within EOBRs also allows fleets to better track detention time, which allows proper billing and compensation for drivers. The devices can even improve fleet CSA scores, a metric that is sure to stay, by virtually eliminating eight types of hours-of-service (HOS) violations. Meanwhile, mapping functions help drivers avoid construction and high-traffic areas, enabling the most efficient and profitable routes.

Concerns about EOBR systems in trucking are not likely to disappear overnight, but it is important to consider the positive features this technology brings to our industry. Today millions of people pick up a telephone every day without thinking twice, but in the early days of telephones that was not the case. I believe in ten years drivers will climb into the cab of their 18-wheeler and boot up their EOBR device with similar confidence. If your fleet currently uses EOBRs, talk with your provider representative to ensure you're getting the most out of your system, if you don't, consider how this technology could help make your operations more efficient and profitable.

This entry was posted on April 1st, 2013 by jhubbard and is filed under Recent News & Updates.