Channel 19

Todd Dills

7 EOBR “myths” discussed

| November 20, 2012
  • William McKelvie

    I made it to number three …………then I started to look for a huge front end loader, and a mine sized dump truck. Come on, if you are going to evaluate or debunk myths, at least have HONEST drivers who will tell the truth on the panel, not company executives!! Oh wait, could you not find any willing to go on record? Imagine that. I have told you repeatedly guys will talk with me all day long as to what is really happening to them with these machines, extremely doubtful they will come forward and risk being blackballed, and NO I do not release names nor rat them out, ever .

  • DanielMcCreary

    In my experience, EOBRs create violations where there is no violation, especially when drivers are trying to use their full allotment of time, or when they forget to push a button. Do a pretrip but forget to push the button before starting? You either have to push the button and sit idle for 15 minutes (creating an actual falsification) or just eat the write up. Drive too close to the end of your time and the time it takes to punch through the screens to change your duty status puts you in an over 14 or over 11 violation, though the truck was sitting still and you were not in violation of the law. There are good things about them, but they still don’t fix the issue of driver fatigue because there is no way to regulate or observe (as well there shouldn’t be) the driver actually resting and sleeping. More and more intrusive regulations only make it more expensive to do business.

  • mousekiller

    If EOBRs were such a good deal why didn’t the carriers adapt to them earlier.????? Why the FMCSA mandate and scare tactics about them now? Evidently they are not so good and executives know it. EOBRs are nothing more than an ankle bracelet to monitor you in your 6X7 cell going down the road.It will take the incentive to do better, to be innovative and to be adaptable out of the equation and drivers will become nothing more than robots and steering wheel holders. The term Professional will now be used to describe the driver that has no accidents in a given period of time .

  • High Beamer

    Who is selling who here? The EOBR are creating another way to slow progress in a profession already over regulated by self serving DOT people writing tickets if you are right or not and elected politicians trying to maintain votes of voters with no idea what drivers put up with already! I started reading this with a open mind and it did not take long to see this was garbage. In the 70’s companies were trying to use time cards on a clock in the truck to keep drivers legal and used it against them, now I am hearing of this with EOBR. The cost they are telling about is crazy because they will be in need of expensive repair after blaming drivers and then finding out it was not the driver that was wrong after they terminate them and put points on his record. If any one believes this will keep you out of trouble with the law, government and companies, GOOD LUCK

  • Highwayman

    I read though all this stuff and tried to have an open mind as well. However, this seems to me like a lot of garble and hog wash. They never really gave any solid answers and never addressed any of my concerns, so I will attempt to put in my two cents worth. I have been driving since 1980 mostly all owner/operator. I’ve logged close to 3 1/2 million miles. The way I see it, cutting out the drivers flexibility to adjust the logs when needed, will be a horrible problem to contend with. I would expect productivity do drop at least by one third, maybe even be cut in half. Stress levels will go through the roof because you will be racing against the clock every single day. It will encourage speeding because again, you are racing against the clock trying to get everything accomplished in the 11/14 hour window. Your health will be affected because you will not have time to stop and eat properly. Shoot, you won’t even have time to stop and take a dump! There will probably be drivers dropping dead from heart attacks just from all the added daily stress! Accident rates will go up because, remember the old saying, “Haste makes waste”? Almost every time I have made a booboo, it was because I was in a hurry. Fuel consumption will go up cause you will no longer have time to drive slow and get that good fuel mileage. Home time will be cut back as well. I happen to be an owner/operator who is home every week end. If I’m on my way home on Friday evening and I run out of hours an hour or two from home and have to take a 10 hour break, then I won’t be home until Saturday. Then when I would normally leave Sunday evening to get to my Monday morning delivery, instead I’ll have to miss church and leave Sunday morning in order to get a 10 hour break in before my Monday morning delivery. Also you won’t be able to use probably more than 9 or 10 of your 11 available driving hours. It’s not like, just about 5 minutes before you run out of hours, a truck stop or rest area just magically appears. And what about when you pull into a truck stop or rest area and it is all full, and you are out of hours? WHAT THEN? Where do they think all these trucks are going to park? One thing I’ve always enjoyed about trucking over the past 32 years is “The Freedom of the Road”. Freedom! Freedom to do your own thing at your own pace, with no boss looking over your shoulder! It looks like we are about to lose that freedom, right along with the many many other freedoms we are losing at a very rapid pace in this country. Soon we will all be nothing but robotic machines, being tracked everywhere we go, while Big Brother monitors every move we make, just slaving away at our little jobs to try to put food on the table. Can an Owner/Operator or driver afford to have their income slashed in half? I just cannot imagine how EOBRs can work in the real world! It’s going to be total chaos, with a whole lot of unintended consequences I you ask me!

  • MCMM

    Yup, I get passed daily by Werner, Crete, Swift etc in construction zones! They are flat footed trying to make their time.
    When I stop for the day (mostly by 630 or 7pm) I park legally. Then I go for my walk, trying not to get run over by these same idiots flying through the parking lot!

    Alas in the morning what do I find? Illegally parked EOBR trucks all over the parking lot, sometimes blocking me in!!! Let the games begin as I pound on their doors trying to wake the dead, the ones that do not stop to take a leak, they pee in bottles going down the road???WTF.

    I do not see an advantage to EOBR’s as with a few friends that drive for Swift, (gasp) and see what they do just trying to make a buck. No safety in my eyes, and I have the movies to prove it (I have a dashcam).

    If the DOT and or police want to make things safer, try riding with a driver and have a chase car to write tickets to the more than 75% of 4 wheelers texting going down the road. Bet they could make a lot of money doing such! Yes 75% plus! (I take note of such)!

  • Ghostrider

    HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!! (1) I “WAS” a driver for 33 years. (key “word”) WAS. I have logged over 3.5 million accident free ticket free miles, back in the 80s I could not logged all the miles run so I have driven some think like 5 million miles still no accident or tickets.(2) I will make this simple you are all “DUM-ASS idiots that is running trucking now and the reporters that report the “MYTHS” about EBORs like this one. This reporter will do anything to make his paycheck. Mr Kraft, Mr Lowry, Mr Dinino is using simply words to use on this reporter and he dum enough to print it just listen to what they are saying to him. Read the words they use. he needs to talk to driver in the “REAL WORLD” not to some man running a company to get all the money he can get, They will say any thing to cover there ass. The sad part is there drivers be leave them. I can share a few storys with him when I was with “Heartland Express” making me run when I should not be running more then once, and how they would dispatch me. JB Hunt ( i was a I.C. for them at the time) running 20 plus hours to get a load delivered so they would not loose that account. and so on. Can we the ponds (drivers) change any of this ? “NOPE” but what I could do is what I did leave it with them. Will I ever return to trucking ? NOPE…

  • RogerBrennan

    Knuckleheads who don’t know their limits are to blame for giving EOBR’s a reason to exist. A responsible self-employed driver with time management skills will be hard pressed to survive if this mandate is instituted and enforced. More trucks will be needed to deliver the same amount of freight. More parking will be necessary to keep trucks motionless for 13 hours.

  • Todd Dills

    I hear you, William. This wasn’t a panel convened by me, in any case (I was a fly on the wall, as it were.) Thought it might make for a window on what these fleet execs are thinking on some of the contentious issues around the devices, etc. You well know I’ve talked to no small number of drivers about EOBRs in past.

  • Todd Dills

    Thanks, Daniel. Are you running with an EOBR today? I’ve gotten into the issue of non-driving time elsewhere, such as in this piece:

  • Todd Dills

    Ghost, before you go tarring the reporter here, take a moment to re-read the intro to the piece, my friend — I’m not claiming to lay down this stuff as the word of law on this issue. You can track back through my prior reporting on EOBRs for no shortage of reporting from the drivers’ point of view. Here’s one post, for instance:

    And as I note, this was an online panel I had opportunity to overhear, as it were, not a one-on-one-type interview.

  • Kelly Frey, CEO BigRoad


    Thanks for this piece.. There certainly are a lot of myths of EOBRs – and I find a lot of confusion between eLogs and EOBRS. I categorically believe that EOBR’s will not eliminate cheating, nor make the roads safer. Remember that 70% of roadside fines and FMCSA Audit penalties arise from easily addressed Form and Manner errors. If we eliminate these ‘violations’ from logs we will see a dramatic improvement in CSA Safety Scores. This action itself could take the wind out of the sails of FMCSA’s EOBR mandate.

    Drivers and small fleet operators need to take control of their own destiny and not lay back and let the large National Carriers lobby that supports the ATA and FMCSA push through the misguided EOBR mandate. A grass roots mass adoption of eLogs that addresses Form and Manner violations is underway.

    BigRoad launched in late June this year with a free eLog application for drivers that use Android phones or tablets. We have just shy of 30,000 drivers using the app now (without being told to by anyone – no mandate) with truly great driver reviews and improved CSA scores. Drivers and small fleet operators are able to eliminate Form and Manner issues that are the root cause over 70% of log fines and audit penalties according to the FMCSA.

    I personally have been involved in the trucking technology industry for almost 20 years and believe that we are at the start of a revolution of driver empowerment and control IF drivers embrace easily available and inexpensive technology such as smartphones and tablets that allows them to control their own destiny, take control of their logs, their schedule, their access to good loads, safely, without the Big Brother EOBR’s forced down their throats by the FMCSA and large carrier and large Corporate tracking technology lobby!

  • Chow5656

    Of ALL I read here NO one is touching on the BIGGEST problem… the Shippers and receivers!!! I own A small CO with 8 Trucks. Drove one for 20 Plus years myself… Yes, drivers waste there day away at times… But MANY GOOD drivers GET there time wasted by A shipper or receiver. At ONE point the GOVT was starting to look into this… Now they have gone the other way.. Back to putting it on the company and the driver.. And to the guy that is going to tell me that that’s what detention is for… Well, GREAT concept.. Until that shipper suddenly has nothing for you… And YES it does happen..

    As to unsafe drivers… There will be unsafe drivers WITH the EOBR’S.. no one can MAKE you sleep when you should.. And as someone else said here.. When the time runs out and the rest area… (Well doesn’t matter in VA you can only stay for two hours anyway.. )and the truck stops are all full…. What would the people that think this is A GREAT idea suggest THEN/..?? It’s A Matter of them trying to fix A problem they know nothing about… As I said make the shipper and receiver accountable and most of this would fix itself!!!

  • leavitttrucking

    They can stick there EOBR’S there you know whats.

  • Hammer Lane

    I pursued a career as an independent with my own authority
    to make money as well as simply due to the fact that I didn’t want to have to answer someone. I wanted to do what I wanted to when I felt it was best to do it. However, with the new hours of service rules and EOBR mandate, which will become law, I see my freedoms and ability to make money fading away unless we address some crucial issues.

    When I read all the articles composed on EOBR’s I rarely see
    anyone writing about or expressing any concern on the financial impacts that an EOBR mandate will have mainly on smaller carriers. This concerns me because I don’t know if I am running my company properly or if it’s just the fact that not enough smaller carriers are voicing their opinion on the mandate. It is imperative that smaller carriers do get out and voice their opinion to make sure there is a level playing field amongst everyone within the transportation industry.

    The days spent at shippers and receivers facilities loading
    and unloading hurt. Typically one can be at a shipper or receiver for one, two, three hours or maybe even more. Not once have I seen detention pay for being held. As a general rule I think it should be capped at one free hour and everything else should be charged a fair rate of $65 per hour. These trucks don’t make any money sitting and in order to pay bills trucks have to make “X” amount of dollars per month. Sitting and waiting on shippers and receivers while on
    duty cost us money and time wasted with nothing to show for.

    An advantage that the big carriers have over the small ones
    is the ability to have a trailer pool. The ability to have a pool of trailers at shippers and receivers means a driver doesn’t have to wait to get loaded or unloaded. Having the ability to “drop and hook,” as opposed to sit and wait to get offloaded or loaded, greatly reduces stress on the driver and company. Small carriers are at a disadvantage because I don’t think I could swing another $350 dollar trailer payment every month. Furthermore, I can’t hire someone to haul it to a shipper for me to get it loaded with product. The only time something
    like this would work for a small carrier is a dedicated haul where you pickup at one facility and go to another drop and re-hook to another trailer already loaded and return to the facility that you originally loaded at. This gives large carriers a competitive advantage over a small one.

    Large carriers can afford to run cheap. When you have
    thousands of trucks and each truck make $10 profit per load the company as a whole had a decent day. If you take a one truck operation and make $10 profit per day that isn’t even worth being in business for. This goes hand in hand with any type of operation such as Wal-Mart when compared to a small town grocer. Big corporations are making it extremely difficult to compete with. For small businesses the future outlook looks grim in my opinion.

    Currently, with the way I run my business you are lucky to
    see 20% profit margin, more realistic numbers show anywhere from 10 to 15% profit. Considering all the issues I just spoke of stay the same and nothing changes, and after the new hours of service and EOBR mandate become law, I will be lucky to see zero to five (0-5) percent profit margin. At those margins I am better off finding another line of work. This is not the way the American life was meant to be.

  • Todd Dills

    Hammer lane, Thanks for the thoughts. Leveling the field with mandatory detention pay regulation could well be the solution, and it’s one FMCSA’s at least paid lip service to in the last year and which they’ve contending they are “studying.” In any case, I know we’ve covered the issue quite a lot this year. Here’s a page that will list a lot of the more recent stories on the subject, which you may be interested in for further reading:

  • I90driver

    If a Driver has Hrs. if so he can be pushed to drive. OOOPS sorry no safe place to stay. Driver on Break OOOPS EOBR just recorded driver in violation (Qualcom is known for placing driver on duty automaticly) Driver on hometime. Qualcom satelites not reciveing signal and repositioned OOOPS truck just went cross country W/Out driver according to EOBR. sorry this is not myth it already happened.

  • NumberCruncher

    It’s quite simple. EOBR’s cause drivers to speed up and drive more aggressively than they would ordinarily. This alone should eliminate them for use because is it counter to the goal of highway safety.

  • Rayzer

    Well, I guess I am going to catch hell on this one, but it
    won’t be the first time I’ve gone against the grain. I have to say that for the most part I like my eLogs. I don’t think I would want to go back to paper logs even if given a choice. It sure is nice not sitting around reworking my logs because word on sesame street is that the coops are checking logs up ahead. I like not having to spend MY time trying to figure out how many miles I drove today, where I am at, and all that other crap that goes with the paper logs.

    Yes, I agree that in the three and a half years that I’ve had eLogs there were a few times I have run out of hours before getting home for the weekend or to a customer, but they are few indeed. I am an o/o leased to a company and I run my
    truck at 59 MPH probably about 95% of the time. I have gotten used to running that speed for fuel economy and actually enjoy the less stressful running environment and I definitely enjoy looking at my settlement at the end of the week when I see that my fuel costs are way down compared to the way I used to run.

    Something else you should consider is that those lawyers who have become predators to the trucking industry make the eLogs a more attractive tool as well. You can fix and adjust your paper logs all you want, but if you are involved in an accident that drags you into court, you are going to find that one of those low life lawyers has subpoenaed your cell phone records which will pin point where you actually were instead of where your logs say you were. The only way you are going to get around that is to remove the battery from your cell phone and I don’t see too many drivers doing that just so they can “fix” their logs.

    I think a lot of the skepticism comes from drivers having never used eLogs and only listening to the myths they hear on the CB and at the truck stops. Saying that you talked to a driver in the TV lounge at the Petro that said he has a buddy that knew of a guy who heard from a friend that eLogs would cut your pay in half is hardly argument enough to get so worked up about them. The big thing you have to remember about running eLogs is that you have to learn to manage your time better. No, you won’t be able to trash around the truck stops playing the old Cherry Master machine, but I’m sure you will recover.

    Everyone knows that we, as an industry, won’t stick together anymore, so you might as well embrace the idea that eLogs are coming…for everyone. Therefore, unless you plan on making a career change there is nothing you can do to change that.

  • Rich Charles

    I stopped reading when I saw “QUALCOMM”.If you know anything about fuel and log auditing,IT’S DONE BY QUALCOMM INC in Texas.Of course they would be all for the idea of “Mandatory” on board systems.They also sell the companies on the BS safety aspects of it.I read a report recently about the same item.At least they called it like it was.EOBR’s don’t make the truck any safer,the driver does.27 years on the road and as a city driver,I’ve made mistakes,and I can darn well say,if I had an EOBR,it would not have made any difference.I’ve used the original EOBR log system and brake monitor by Rockwell.All you needed to cheat them was an old style VHS tape demagnetizer.Wiped it all out with one bump against reader.
    Want to make things safer out here.#1.Setup warehouses in NJ,Western Mass.,Central Pa.,Kingman,Az, Anywhere OUTSIDE Atlanta,OUTSIDE EVERY major city in the USA.Let straight trucks go in and deliver.
    #2.Raise the rates on freight to be commensurate with COLA increases.If I could live on a decent rate/mile,I wouldn’t have had to stretch the truth when I worked for some companies.I’d go to sleep and relax.
    #3. Drivers need to learn to live within their means,and quit competing with the government to see who can run up the biggest debts.Simply put,”If you can’t pay cash in hand for it,you don’t need it that bad”.And as an owner/operator,YES I understand trucks breakdown.Tires aren’t cheap.But half the stuff you buy at a truckstop,is 1/3 the price at WalMart,Target or K-mart.Don’t be afraid to shop around.The truckstops are gouging your pockets as well.And don’t bother asking ATA or any other trucking group for help,they’re out to make a buck off us as well,or the membership rates would be dirt cheap!!

  • paul


  • paul


  • norman ott

    It all comes down to the fact that e logs make it eiser on enforcement. I tried e log on my phone, it worked but it was a pain in the ass to use. I also go rid of my smart phone. I will stay with my loose leaf paper logs like I have for 40 years. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.