An electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) is an electronic device attached to a commercial motor vehicle, which is used to record the amount of time a vehicle is being driven and capable of recording a driver's hours of service and duty status automatically. On January 31, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a rule requiring Electronic On-Board Recorders for interstate commercial truck and bus companies. The agency believes EOBRs would reduce the number of hours of service (HOS) violations by 40 percent. Also, monitoring the number of hours a driver is on the road can reduce fatigue related accidents and increase safety. The proposed rule covers interstate carriers that currently use log books to record driver's hours of service. The proposal would affect more than 500,000 carriers in the United States.
Under this proposal, technology requirements state that the EOBR device must:
· Be integrated with the vehicle
· Be tamper-resistant
· Record engine use, duration of movement, miles driven, and the date/time of duty status changes
· Additionally, devices shall produce, upon demand, a driver’s hours of service chart, electronic display, or printout showing the time and sequence of duty status changes including the driver’s starting time at the beginning of each day.
Most major suppliers will offer standalone EOBRs separate from their complete fleet-management suites, some with no upfront hardware costs. Monthly wireless plans tend to be around $50 per vehicle. On average, FMCSA estimates that the annual cost for a carrier currently without any fleet management system to be between $500 and $800 per tractor. However, estimates show that in the long run, EOBRs cost about half the price of traditional paper logbooks and are much more reliable.