What Are Electronic Onboard Recorders?

Have you heard of an electronic onboard recorder? For truckers in the United States, you will probably know the term ELD used by the department of transportation. The ELD is now what is required by law to be used in the United States. Previous to the ELD mandate there was another option common on the market being the EOBR or electronic onboard recorders.

However, in Europe, an EOBR or electronic onboard recorders are the more common devices utilized on commercial motor vehicles within the trucking industry. These devices are used to track and regulate factors such as a driver’s hours or the amount of time he is legally allowed to drive per day as well as vehicle statistics, the driver’s duty status, reminders for truck service regulations, and more. In this article, we will be tackling the subject of just what this device is, how to read one, as well as what the differences are between an EOBR and an ELD.


How to Read an Electronic Onboard Recorder

There are a few things truck drivers need to learn in order to use an EOBR. For shippers or trucking companies with employee drivers, there should be training provided on how to use the specific device installed in your truck. If you are an owner-operator then you are a bit more on the side of self-learning, but every device will include specific instructions for its model and each will contain a similar theme throughout use as with other models. However, the logs are for the most part automatic. You still have control over your log except for driving time. Any off-duty, sleeper time, or on duty time can be edited. If something needs to be changed with your driving time, the carrier that controls admin abilities of the device has the authority to make changes. The log will automatically keep track of your location and track how many miles you have driven each day.

It is important to know that every truck equipped with an EOBR has to contain an instruction guide that you can supply to any official needing to check your logs. If any law enforcement or DOT official asks to see your logs, you may physically give them the EOBR along with the instruction sheet so that they are able to review your logs in an efficient and correct manner without a major struggle. Many logs have a print, email or fax option as well so that you can distribute your logs to whoever is requesting the information.


What is the Difference Between EOBRs and Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)?

Both of these devices aim to replace the paper logbooks. They hold the purpose of being automatic recording devices that record the driver’s HOS or hours of service to keep in compliance with the requirements of the FMCSA or federal motor carrier safety administration. They come in very handy to speed up roadside inspections as well to better track your fleet management. Both of these devices attach into the computer mainframe of the vehicle and are able to track this data directly from the source rather than relying on manual input by a human. The truth is that the EOBR is no longer allowed to be used in the United States for commercial trucking as the ELD was selected as the regulation device required to be installed on all compatible commercial vehicles. These devices, as we mentioned above, are built around the requirements of the FMCSA and the ELD mandate on all commercial trucks to keep commercial drivers in compliance while reducing the possibility of error of falsified information. The term EOBR has been replaced with ELD in America as this device has been advanced to meet new needs and requirements in the industry.


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