Electronic Onboard Recorders aren’t new to the trucking industry, but their requirement is. These devices have helped truck drivers more accurately log their time on the road or hours of service.
These hours of service they spend on the road are critical to monitor as we all know, too much time behind the wheel is exhausting and unsafe. With EOBRs, you’ll never have to question if you missed a log or not.
Keep track of your drive time without the hassle and make sure you drive safely along the way!
An Electronic Onboard Recorder, or EOBR, is an electronic device that automatically tracks the time a truck spends moving on the road. These devices have simplified how drivers can record their drive time.
Other Types of Recorders
Technology has helped the trucking and transportation industry operate more efficiently. The use of varying devices on your truck can keep track of crucial information without the hassle of you having to grab a pen and paper at every stop.
Electronic logging devices, or ELDs, have been incredibly advantageous for truck drivers. In fact, as of December 2019, ELDs have become a requirement for most commercial vehicles operating throughout the country. Similar to an EOBR, ELDs generally offer more data tracking and additional features. The best ELDs will not disappoint.
While Automatic On-board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) may be becoming a thing of the past, they’re where EOBRs and ELDs got their start. An AOBRD is a device that directly connects to a vehicle’s engine to automatically record the drive time. They are being replaced by EOBRs and ELDs and are typically no longer in compliance.
How Is an Electronic Onboard Recorder Used?
Electronic Onboard Recorders are devices that are electronically or mechanically connected to the truck. They then automatically record the vehicle’s miles driven, the engine use, the speed, the date, and the time of day.
Why Do Electronic Onboard Recorders Exist?
Truck drivers are on the road for extended periods of time and this can put them at greater risk behind the wheel. Truck drivers’ hours of service are heavily regulated for safety reasons.
Before technology allowed for the development of ELDs, drivers had to record their hours manually with paper logbooks. EOBRs were designed to replace the need for paper logbooks and help more accurately record a drivers’ hours of service.
Advantages of Electronic Onboard Recorders
EOBRs can help you make the most of your drive time. Spend less time dealing with paperwork and more time behind the wheel.
Old School Handwritten Logging Cannot be Verified
There’s no way around the fact that old school pen and paper logs are much harder to verify, track long term, or view properly when necessary. These rely solely on trust and when it comes down to numbers and deadlines, people might not always be honest.
However, EOBRs provide exact records of drive time for that vehicle for any period of time you might need. With verified hours of service, truck drivers are generally able to operate their vehicles more safely and this is ideal for everyone on the road.
These devices help to keep the truck driver accountable for their on-duty and off-duty times. That then helps to keep them in compliance with the rules and regulations in place for truck drivers. With drivers across the country staying compliant, the roads become a safer place.
Many EOBRs or ELDs are GPS capable and provide your trucking company with your vehicle’s exact location. This allows them to streamline the operation and provide superior customer service with better planned ETAs.
Disadvantages of Electronic Onboard Recorders
EOBRs sure have their advantages, but there are downsides as well.
Installing an EOBR is a Large Expense
A high initial cost to have an Electronic Onboard Recorder installed is a large drawback for many drivers. The average cost to purchase and install an EOBR is between $1,500 and $2,000 per vehicle. There are generally additional monthly or annual services fees to consider as well.
Incomplete Picture of Workload
Many drivers argue that these devices only track your workload while the truck is being driven. This means all the hard work a driver puts into loading and unloading a truck isn’t considered because it is being completed while the truck is parked.
These tasks can cause major fatigue and go completely untracked and unregulated. With only a limited view of a trucker’s complete workload, it’s hard to properly assess their time spent on-duty.
Law Enforcement Involvement
Roadside inspections are in place to help keep people on the roads safer. What these inspections entail can vary, but highway patrol officers, law enforcement officers, and the like have the right to pull you over for inspection.
Typically, during a roadside inspection, they will ask for your EOBR or ELD. You must provide this to the officer as well as an instruction guide/owners manual so they can properly use it to verify compliance. EOBRs and ELDs can help streamline your roadside inspections, and utilize them.
Streamline Your Time Behind The Wheel
The trucking industry is one that has gained a lot from the advancements in technology over the last several decades. With the requirements to track hours of service, drivers can now do so without pen and paper in hand.
Reduce your paperwork load and spend more time behind the wheel when you’re on the road. electronic onboard recorders and electronic logging devices are here to stay, so why not let them work for you?