If you’re not already using an Electronic On Board Recorders (EOBR) in your vehicle, you will be soon. These electronic logs improve tracking, make compliance easier, and are viewed by many as an important tool for increased driver and road safety.

What Gets Tracked?

Electronic tracking sounds a bit scary, but realistically these devices aren’t tracking much more than you’re already required to track on your own. EOBRs just do a lot of the work for you.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Regulation 395.16, all EOBRs need to record:

  1. Your name and driver information, and your co-driver(s) if you have any
  2. Duty status
  3. Date and time
  4. Location of CMV
  5. Distance traveled
  6. Name and USDOT Number of motor carrier
  7. 24-hour period starting time (e.g., midnight, 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m.)
  8. The multiday basis (7 or 8 days) used by the motor carrier to compute cumulative duty hours and driving time
  9. Hours in each duty status for the 24-hour period, and total hours.
  10. Truck or tractor and trailer number
  11. Shipping document number(s), or name of shipper and commodity

What Are the Benefits?

While the primary goal for implementing EOBRs is to improve safety and compliance, they offer a number of benefits to companies and their drivers.

  • EOBRs make staying compliant easier than ever. You don’t have to worry about keeping paper logs of everything you do. Instead, the device can track most things for you.
  • You’ll never have to wonder where you stand in terms of compliance, because you’ll have up-to-date information at your fingertips.
  • The device will warn you when you’re closing in on your hours-of-service limit.
  • You’ll save time at roadside inspections.
  • If anyone questions your driving or files a complaint against you or your company, the EOBR can provide digital proof of relevant data, such as your location and speed.

What’s the Downside?

In the short-term, the new data provided by recording devices will likely lead to some streamlining of routes, which could mean fewer runs. On the other hand, that same data will be beneficial when your company bids for new contracts, so they should be able to replace those routes pretty quickly.

Some drivers may need to correct their behavior. Again, this is nothing new. Paper logs did the same thing. And better behavior means you’ll be driving safer, which means less chance of an accident keeping you out of work.

Change is scary, but the move to EOBRs shouldn’t get to you too worked up. Yes, there will be some adjustment. But the machine is hardly Big Brother. It’s just a more reliable way to the track information you’re already tracking for yourself.

If you have any questions about Electronic On-Board Recorders or compliance, talk to a Contracted Drivers Service representative today.