What is an EOBR?
With a flurry of information about Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBR) and Electronic Logging Devices hitting the trucking industry news, it’s not always easy to separate truth from fiction. So, we’d like to answer the question, “What is an EOBR?,” once and for all.
EOBRs installed in commercial motor vehicles can monitor and record a whole host of data about the vehicle and its driver. From electronic driver logs that track a driver’s Hours of Service and electronic driver vehicle inspection reports to driver behavior reporting on speeding, idling and hard braking. Many EOBRs integrate map and route solutions as well, which can help drivers navigate around construction and avoid high-traffic areas.
EOBRs connect directly to a vehicle’s engine control module and store data, as well as transmit it wirelessly to the motor carrier (not the DOT). There, analytics reports can help drivers and fleets manage performance more effectively to cut fuel costs, ensure timely vehicle maintenance, identify drivers for additional training before accidents occur and help provide real-time data to shippers for better customer service.
EOBRs aid compliance with many of the FMCSA’s BASIC categories, including:
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Unsafe Driving
- Fatigued Driving (Hours of Service)
- Crash Indicator
What data does an EOBR capture?
Misinformation about an EOBR’s capabilities can lead to a lot of inaccurate assumptions. Let’s clear the air.
Regulatory requirements for EOBRs have been established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and are covered in the FMCSA’s rule 395.15. It requires devices to automatically records a driver’s duty status, as well as the amount of time they operate the vehicle. If requested by law enforcement, drivers must be able to immediately deliver the required display information for the previous 7 days, plus the current day.
Compliant 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.
EOBRs come in old and new packages
When asked, “What is an EOBR?,” many fleet managers and drivers think of the traditional “black box.” This type of system employs fixed hardware that must be drilled into a driver’s dash, as well as an embedded modem to record both a driver’s hours-of-service and duty status. But now there’s another option available to the trucking industry, which takes advantage of Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices to record GPS location data and engine diagnostics information.
Turnpike from XRS is a perfect solution for fleets looking for a low cost-of-entry. It’s also a perfect fit for drivers looking for a solution that untethers them from the cab and allows them the flexibility that comes with a wide range of mobile devices.