The EOBR mandate appears like it is going to happen. The FMCSA has already issued a proposed rulemaking. Congress has introduced legislation to force FMCSA to act on timely basis if it does not on its own. Here is more information regarding Qualcomm and MTI's Horizon integration.
Implementing EOBRs has proven to be a good thing. What we have heard from our customers and other carriers with EOBRs are three things:
- Compliance performance - it significantly improves with EOBR use.
- Drivers really like EOBRs. While initially resistant, drivers find that they are very helpful and timesaving.
- Driver productivity increases – i.e., most realize increased miles per month. The most common reason is that drivers manage their time better.
From a regulatory perspective, there is a lot happening. CSA implementation, HOS rule changes, new EOBR technical requirements, and EOBR mandate. Yet to happen is a new regulation for carrier safety fitness determination. From a big picture perspective, consider the impacts of the following:
- New EOBRs will enable more efficient inspections –putting the spotlight on unknown and higher risk drivers
- CSA enforcement options and flexibility –providing a better enforcement approach to address all high risk behaviors affecting safety.
- New safety rating process –resulting in many more carriers exposed to new overall safety ratings based on CSA data.
So my comment about “think bigger” is that you need to think about more than EOBRs. Carriers need to address their comprehensive safety management capability – and then leverage that same technology to optimize operational performance.