Electronic On Board Recorder- EOBR

October 17, 2012

Electronic on board recorders are all the rage right now. Let's take a look into what they are and what they can do.An electronicon-board recorder (EOBR) is an electronic device attached directly to the motor of a commercial motor vehicle, which is used to record the amount of time a vehicle is being driven. They are made by several different companies and look slightly different and operate slightly different. What is the same is when the truck is moving it is also logging hours. When it stops you have to choose what is happening like on duty not driving, on duty, off duty. They have been compared to the black box that is on airlines and record every move that it makes.

EOBR devices will record:

  • Name of driver and any co-driver(s), and corresponding driver identification information (such as a user ID and password). However, the name of the driver and any co-driver is not required to be transmitted as part of the downloaded file during a roadside inspection
  • Duty status
  • Date and time
  • Location of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
  • Distance traveled
  • Name and USDOT Number of the motor carrier
  • 24-hour period starting time (e.g., midnight, 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m.)
  • The multiday basis (7 or 8 days) used by the motor carrier to compute cumulative duty hours and driving time
  • Hours in each duty status for the 24-hour period, and total hours
  • Truck or tractor and trailer number
  • Shipping document number(s), or name of shipper and commodity

A compliant device will also send the driver an audible or visual alert when they're nearing their driving limit, approaching their on-duty time limit for a 24-hour period, or are nearing their weekly on-duty or driving time limitations. The warnings must be delivered at least 30 minutes in advance, giving drivers time to find a safe place to park.

Is this a good thing or a bad? Well that depends on who you talk to. Some people think it is so much easier than the paper logs that many drivers are currently using. They like the convenience that it offers and they like the fact that they are never at risk of a log book ticket. Others do not like the intrusiveness of someone taking the decision making out of the driver's hands. Either way these things are the future and the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Association) have legislation to mandate these in all trucks sometime in the future, some say as soon as 2015. I guess we should all resign ourselves for the inevitable?

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