Agency studying whether EOBRs can be used to harass drivers

| December 13, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requesting comment on a proposed survey examining driver harassment and coercion related to electric onboard recorders.

On Dec. 13, the agency announced it would submit an Information Collection Request to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review and approval. The FMCSA has projected a Feb. 14 publication date for an EOBR Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and will consider survey results before issuing a Final Rule.

The survey is meant to determine the extent that using the devices to document drivers’ hours of service also could be used by carriers or enforcement personnel to harass drivers or monitor driver productivity. The survey also is intended to gauge what degree respondents believe EOBRs may result in coercion of drivers by carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries.

The survey also is intended to gauge what degree respondents believe EOBRs may result in coercion of drivers by carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries.

Agency representatives are requesting comment on any aspect of the proposed information collection, including ways it can enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected. It anticipates an estimated 1,039 respondents.

The agency will conduct two in-depth interviews with carriers, 20 carrier pre-test web interviews, 400 carrier main survey web interviews and 100 carrier non-response telephone follow-up interviews. It will also carry out seven driver in-depth interviews and 510 driver intercept interviews.

In July, Congress approved an omnibus transportation appropriations bill in July mandating truck EOBRs. That legislation requires these regulations ensure the devices not be used to harass or coerce drivers. Last year, a federal appeals court vacated FMCSA’s original EOBR rule after the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association successfully argued it provided insufficient protection against driver harassment.

Late next year, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institution is expected to report FMCSA-funded research on safety benefits of recorders. The study will also examine costs and if EOBRs improve hours-of-service compliance.

The FMCSA will accept comments received on or before Feb. 11 and all submissions must include Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0309.  Comment may be submitted one of the following ways, but the agency asks commentators not to submit feedback using more than one method to avoid duplication:

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  • Spanky

    Is it me?? But the Govment thinks… Every hour of the day carries the same value?

  • ELW

    The government wants to hold truck drivers to a higher degree of regulations, then anyone else!

    What about those people who pull double and triple shifts, then get in their car to drive in OUR workplace? They are not held accountable to anyone.

  • Guest

    More studies? The ruling has already been shot down twice now, two listening sessions held earlier in the year also provided documented evidence of harassment. What does the FMCSA think, that just becuase time has passed since all of this happened that these companies have stopped this practice? Seriously?

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.mckelvie William McKelvie

    More studies? The ruling has already been shot down twice now, two listening sessions held earlier in the year also provided documented evidence of harassment. What does the FMCSA think, that just because time has passed since all of this happened that these companies have stopped this practice? Seriously

  • terry stanley

    my son and i are independents and drive as a team. we began using computer logs to improve our compliance, so what does F.M.C.S.A. do? they make a rule stating that we must set up our printer and print ONE LOG PAGE every day. since we began using this method, the daily print is the only violation we’ve had. as far as harrasment goes, does being woken up from the sleeper to produce my logs and i.d. count? this has happened twice recently. if F.M.C.S.A. and D.O.T. would stop harassing us, we’d be just fine

  • A Successful Truckline Owner

    I was raised to believe the “American Dream” was if you work harder than anyone else, you will achieve more and be more successful. That is how EVERY SUCCESSFUL TRUCKLINE was built. More problems are created in America from people who won’t work enough, than by people who are working too hard. I’ve explained these HOS regs. to our Senators and they tell me flat out that they couldn’t live like that, but the way things are in Washington, they can’t seem to change it either. It is Harassment of the very thing that makes us AMERICANS!

  • http://twitter.com/OTRDriver Patrick

    I was witness to the Michigan CMV enforcement officers going from truck to truck in a rest area interupting the sleep and “rest period” of CMV operators. I suggest we hang a sign, “THIS VEHICLE IS AT REST ANY INTERFERENCE WITH THAT REST WILL RESULT IN RESTART OF THE REST PERIOD” per FMCSA rule _ _ _ _ _

  • OTRBob

    As to hrs of service EOBD’s will have no diffrence than E, Logs will. but to the issue of Herrassment EOBR’s give the company and who ever access to the Driver Bad enuf the company tries to push drivers with access to the drivers logs it has been used to force a Driver to go into an unsafe situation. and then it is extreamly flawed, it relies on satalite connection so dose GPS and I’ve noticed my GPS not having sat. connect. I’ve noticed EQBR not connected too, excuse me but I am parked yet EOBR has me moving and places me in violation and on line 3 of my log when I should be on 2 this is where E logs are better.

  • houndies

    My husband drives for an OO company and while they cannot legally make drivers put EOBRs in their units, they are trying every maneuver to make it happen. If you have enough log violations they will require a driver to get an EOBR and I read that new drivers w/ this company must have an EOBR. EOBRs seem to have some positive aspects, but it seems some negative ones as well.

  • Fries

    This is the liberal wishes, look around the same is happening to the way of life in America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Total Dominance….part of the New World Order…..trial balloons to see how much the truckers will put up with…soon cameras in the truck watching the driver too! World Dominance….every year MORE AND MORE surveilance and erosion of our freedoms….Rich Men orchestrate this crap and have a good laugh watching truckers continually try to jump thru the next hoops they have HELPED DESIGN……you can help but see it for what it is……..a JOKE.

  • CSD

    In all of this, I have yet to figure out how being on an e-log can cause driver harassment. I have been using an e-log for 2 years. I have a clear understanding with the carrier I am leased to… you will not tell me when I need to move the truck, you will not contact me at the end of a break, you will not decide when I will stop the truck. In other words, you will not nanny me or the truck goes elsewhere. Harrassment can only happen to those with not guts to tell the carrier to treat them like an adult. And no one is forced to work anywhere it may happen. With the so-called driver shortage, this whole worrying about carrier harassment with e-logs is a non-existent problem. Unless you are a wimp.

  • Brian from Billings

    I implemented electronic logs at my former workplace. the only ones who got harrassed were the dispatchers because they had to start doing things legal. The drivers made more money and stayed legal and used the e logs to prove to the dispatchers they were done for the day. Every day the dispatchers would come into my office and ask me to change the logs. My answer was always NO and I got asked to leave because of it.

  • Shaggy

    I have a comment because this is the only place it will be heard! We commented on hours of service, everyone screamed, “FLEXIBILITY”and what did we get. What they had already decided we were going to get from the start. Same goes for EOBR’s you are going to get stuck with one, they have already told us that is what is going to happen. When they are done with that they are going to put a camera facing you so they can watch you so if they think you are to tired they can shut you down.

  • Foodstamp

    Yes it can and yes it has happened Swift transportation does it all the time. Ask just about any one of their drivers and they will tell you.

  • Marty Marsh

    The one thing you always have remember when talking to people that do the same job as you, with no proof, talk is cheap. I have actually worked for people that liked to harass drivers and with all my paper work I can prove it. Yes I know, well why didn’t you take them to court? Well considering most lawyers want between 15 and 20 grand up front, because just like the carrier they know you are going to lose, that should answer that question. Also what about all the people that get put in to DAC, do you honestly think they are all bad?
    I just love to hear people spout off, I told the boss this and I told the boss that, then when you walk in to dispatch with them they are practically asking which part of the bosses ass they can kiss today.
    Go sell it to someone else tough guy you sound more like a dispatcher.

  • Marty Marsh

    The cameras have already been there, for a long time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Man…that sounds crappy….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Yep the Camera monitoring the Driver is next….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Sure…most small trucking companies cant make money using electronic logs and being in compliance all the time..their Freight doesnt always line up with hours available..so they fudge a little…..they EXPECT you to fudge too! Or Else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Today it’s all crooked…lying, cheating, thieves are successful..ripping off the trucker is profitable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Oh those dispatchers are Sadists…they laugh at the trucker’s mysery…the Payoff for the Company Owner is to Horsewhip the driver down the road and squeeze every penny out of the driver…the dispatcher represents the Company Owner’s interests….Im sure they have a good laugh when a driver is killed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    They just have those “listening sessions” to appear that they are concerned…it probably already been decided.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Those listening sessions should have Heart Shaped Balloons….and Banners that say “We Care”….its all a charade….soon a Camera in Every Truck will be staring at the Driver….The D.O.T. can “monitor” you better…and the Dispatcher can see you while he is yelling at you!!! lol.