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Busting EOBR Myths

EOBRs, or electronic on-board recorders, are very useful tools in the trucking industry. However, some trucking companies are concerned about the negative impact EOBRs may have on control and overall fleet performance. Most of their concerns are based on rumors and myths, which are easily dispelled with simple explanations. Here are seven myths you may have heard before and why they simply aren’t true.

· Myth:

EOBRs give drivers less time behind the wheel.

· Fact:

As drivers with these devices can attest, EOBRs actually help them log more time. Paper logs require drivers to round to the nearest quarter hour, but EOBRs accurately log on-duty hours to the nearest minute. Over several days, the lack of rounding can add up to several hours of extra time drivers can spend on the road.

· Myth:

EOBRs are unsafe because they require the driver to enter data while driving.

· Fact:

When the truck is still parked, the driver logs into the EOBR to mark the start of their shift. After that, the EOBR automatically captures data with no further driver interaction. The only indication that the EOBR is running is that it emits an audible countdown timer when the driver approaches their Hours of Service limit. This allows the driver time to find a safe place to park without incurring a violation. Finally, the driver logs out to signal the end of a shift once the truck is safely parked.

Busting EOBR Myths

 · Myth:

Only large carriers can benefit from EOBRs.

· Fact:

While big fleets have seen CSA score improvements from using EOBRs, small companies of 20 trucks or less can easily realize those same benefits. In fact, the affordable, flexible options given on most EOBRs make them a feasible alternative to paper logs.

·Myth:

EOBRs automatically transmits violations to the DOT.

· Fact:

An EOBR simply serves as a replacement for paper logbooks. It doesn’t report any captured information to law enforcement agencies, meaning it doesn’t trigger violation reports on its own. The only way the FMCSA can penalize a carrier or driver is by conducting an audit. In fact, by properly maintaining records on an EOBR, drivers can be better prepared for these audits.

· Myth:

With an EOBR, the government knows a truck driver’s every move.

· Fact:

Only the trucking company’s employees are authorized to review data collected by an EOBR and pinpoint a truck’s exact location on the road. If an audit takes place, the DOT may have access to located-based information, but that’s all after the fact.

· Myth:

EOBRs can remotely shut down a truck.

· Fact:

While remote shutdown technology exists, it’s not the standard with EOBRs. Deciding where and when to shut off the truck is left to the driver’s discretion. EOBRs monitor and record engine data; they don’t take vehicle control away from the driver.
Clearly, there’s nothing to fear from EOBRs that only make data collection easier and more accurate. Find out more about different EOBRs to decide the best place to make an investment.

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