What can EOBRs do for your Fleet?
You have undoubtedly heard the proposal and dismissal for mandating EOBRs for commercial motor vehicles, but what do they all mean? How would it have impacted the transportation industry? What would it mean for YOUR fleet? What did the dismissal in August, 2011 state? PeopleNet responds to this proposal and dismissal by offering you tools and resources so you can understand exactly where you stand.
An electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) is an electronic device attached to a commercial motor vehicle, which is used to record the amount of time a vehicle is being driven. The driving hours of commercial drivers are regulated by a set of rules known as the hours of service (HOS). The HOS are rules intended to prevent driver fatigue, by limiting the amount of time drivers spend operating commercial vehicles.
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) considered making EOBRs mandatory for all motor carriers. The proposal can be found here.
On August 26, 2011, the court ruled that electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) disallowed – primarily as they would be a form of “harassment,” violating a drivers’ right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“We conclude that the rule cannot stand because the agency [FMCSA] failed to consider an issue that it was statutorily required to address,” the court said. “Specifically, the Agency said nothing about the requirement that any regulation about the use of monitoring devices in commercial vehicles must ‘ensure that the devices are not used to harass vehicle operators.’ We therefore grant the petition and vacate the rule.”
Are Carriers Waiting for a Mandate to buy EOBRs?
Indeed, many carriers have made the decision not to wait for an official EOBR rulemaking to make the move to electronic logging. CSA was all the mandate they needed to act. “Carriers are absolutely now concerned about their CSA scores,” Jim Angel of PeopleNet told Fleet Owner.
“We definitely saw about a 12% increase in the use of the electronic log function by our existing customers after CSA” he explained. “The e-logs ‘take rate’ as a percentage of our total users was 43.5% in January of 2010. It increased to 56.8% by January of 2011 and in July of this year it was 63.7%. CSA has become something of a de facto mandate for EOBR’s. It was another step."
AOBRD - Automated On Board Recording Device
EOBR - Electronic On Board Recorder
In the 1980’s companies started experimenting with AOBRDs as a way to automate recording drivers HOS to save time. In September of 1988 AOBRDs were defined in the regulations as “an electric, electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical device capable of recording driver's duty status information accurately and automatically as required by Sec. 395.15. The device must be integrally synchronized with specific operations of the commercial motor vehicle in which it is installed. At a minimum, the device must record engine use, road speed, miles driven, the date, and time of day.”
In the mid 1990’s new technology including GPS and real time communications started to promote the new era of EOBRs, including using GPS and movement to place a driver into a driving or On-Duty status.
The key differences between AOBRDs and EOBRs are the advances made in technology.