Electronic truck records are coming. In fact, for many companies they are already here. After all, it isn’t necessary for trucking companies to wait for a mandatory federal rule to make the transition from paper logs to electronic records.
But in the San Antonio area and across the nation, there are also plenty of companies that are holding back from making the change. That is why the development of a uniform federal requirement is likely to have a significant effect on how truckers record their hours.
The reason this is important is that electronic records should improve compliance with hours-of-service rules for truck drivers. Those rules require truck drivers to take designated breaks in order prevent truck accidents caused by fatigued driving.
Federal safety regulators have been trying to develop a rule on Electronic On-Board Recorders since 2010. In 2011, however, a federal appeals court held that the safety regulators had failed to do enough to protect truck drivers from the potential for harassment because of the constant scrutiny of their schedules by electronic tools.
But it has been two years now since that ruling. And federal safety regulators are now making concerted efforts to respond to the concerns about harassment and excessive monitoring.
In particular, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be interviewing trucking carriers about the implementation of EOBRs. The FMCSA plans to have a mandatory rule proposal on the table by November of this year.
Meanwhile, the FMCSA is also studying the relationship between recorders and truck accidents involving driver fatigue.
Source: Overdrive, “EOBR rule in the works, expected in November,” Jill Dunn, June 19, 2013