Channel 19

Todd Dills

Hours, EOBRs: Adapt or fight?

| August 03, 2012

The EOBR mandate is a crucial topic, as it represents the mindset of the American people. They are brainwashed into believing that by placing an EOBR on a commercial motor vehicle the following problems will be solved:

  • a) Drivers will be better rested because they will be forced to sleep.
  • b) They no longer will violate their hours.
  • and c) Accidents involving trucks will be eliminated.

Nothing is more far from the truth. Drivers will not be better rested, because the problems that keep them from resting still remain: Lack of adequate truck parking; dispatchers pushing drivers to drive when they say they are either ill or tired; shippers and receivers holding drivers up at the docks for hours, cutting into their rest time; dispatch waking drivers up via Qualcomm, etc., to ask questions, failing to respect and abide by the HOS regulations; retaliation tactics from a carrier if the driver states he or she is too fatigued to drive; etc… 

The devices track only the amount of time the truck is actually moving. But for much of a driver’s “on duty” time, the vehicle is stationary, waiting for a trailer to be loaded or idling at a truck stop. This time still has to be reported manually by the trucker, leaving significant room for error or misreporting. Similarly, EOBRs do nothing to ensure that drivers have had the required hours of off-duty time — all they can verify is how long that particular vehicle was not moving, not how long the individual driver was resting.

EOBRs have little to do with safety, but rather are a way for large trucking companies to level the playing field within the industry, as many already have EOBRs. If EOBRs were mandated, it would keep owner-operators and small fleets “in line,” reducing competition for qualified, well-trained drivers who may go to a carrier who does not have EOBRs.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit tossed the [limited mandate] electronic onboard recorder regulation only to see an expanded version of it in the transportation bill. Drivers need to write and call their Senators and Reps if they do not agree with mandating EOBRs. There are almost 4 million drivers. They have the power to change things, but many just don’t believe it.

Extras from my reporting on top challenge No. 1: Fuel prices, plus a few more tools for your fuel-price-fighting arsenal.

  • jescott418

    The problem with HOS is the variables associated with trucking. Some have regular predictable routes. But most of us are irregular route drivers having to deal with delays,weather conditions and lousy shippers and receivers. All of which we as drivers still are expected to meet a ever increasing demand for “Just in time” freight. Much of the people who make these EOBR rules and HOS regulations have never even driven a large truck or are even familiar with the conditions. They are time managers who try and put a square in a round hole with the least bit knowledge about a complex trucking industry. Will EOBR eventually become mandatory? Yes, Will it help trucking? No.

  • Don Lanier

    it would keep owner-operators and small fleets “in line,” reducing competition

    Assuming that small Owner Operators are not WELL QUALIFIED or SAFE unless they use the EOBR…


  • jeff clark


  • JIT

    I’ll say it again, look at who the “Companies” are that advocate EOBR’s. And as for Bray, tuck that tail brother! Tuck it deep so as to provide protection of your nether region because it’s decision making like that which gets us all screwed. Once again O-O’s like Bray are proving the “I’m too weak to fight back” mentality of some Americans!! You’re weak Bray, WEAK!!!

  • Philip Hankins

    Of course Bray says WHEN not IF, He works for the co. capitaliziing on the tech. CAPITALIZING, that’s we truckers need to do in eliminating all these HANGERS ON that disapate our profits…

  • Mind Games

    This is about throwing the driver under the bus, as long as lawyers are on this planet you will never run 100% legal!
    Who do you think wrote the rules?

  • Bob_Hearns

    Supposedly, all this is being done to make the roads safer. Those who keep harassing us would get much better results if they would focus on the 4-wheelers and taught them how to drive around big trucks, seeing as how they are responsible for roughly 80% of car-truck accidents.

  • david webster

    use the EBORs for driver payment have grid pay system based on years driving in north america. The same co. who paid union drivers by the hour in the 1980,s complained when the drivers drove at the speed limit and ended up in overtime now want EBORs but do not want to pay overtime when the drivers can no longer cheat on their logs. the drivers are getting other jobs because of low pay are saying nobody wants to drive truck. They are bringing new drivers from poor counties, after 2 years they are getting other jobs. In Canada the new offshore driver program is called the male nanny program strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.