Mandating Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBR’s) for all interstate commercial motor vehicles is nothing new for the trucking industry. The argument for the EOBR dates back to 1990 and continues today.
Many professional truck drivers, however, argue that the EOBR will have no increase in safety as the regulators advise and could add to further harassment issues by motor carriers against their drivers.
As in the past, there remains two separate arguments for the mandating of Electronic On-Board Recorders: (1) by industry supporters and (2) from the professional truck driver.
The MAP-21 highway bill instructs the FMCSA to implement an EOBR mandate within the next couple of years. Here I provide both sides of the issue concerning the two major driver issues with EOBR’s and where each continue to make a case, for and against, an industry mandate:
Driver – The EOBR will not be able to compensate the driver for detention time at shippers and receivers.
Supporters – EOBRs can assist drivers in receiving detention time pay since the equipment will electronically track the hours that they are waiting at the docks.
Driver – EOBR’s do not provide additional safety for operational procedures.
Supporters – The device provides the amount of hours of service still available to the driver and dispatcher, thus providing dispatch with the ability to schedule loads that will fit within the required HOS rules.
Although regulators and supporters provide their answers to these driver concerns, it is the professional trucker who reiterates that they live in the real world of trucking and understands how the system really operates.