Congress recently started making preparations for the EOBR mandate, a law that requires freight companies to install electronic onboard recorders in each truck. While the mandate won’t go into effect for a few more years, freight companies should start preparing now so they’re not penalized when it’s time to enforce the law.
But the EOBR mandate affects freight companies and other businesses in more ways than just having to update an old logging system. Here are some ways the mandate affects businesses.
What is the EOBR Mandate?
To understand how the mandate affects businesses and shipping, it’s important to know what it is and what it does. The EOBR mandate requires all drivers to record their hours on electronic logging devices instead of using traditional logbooks. The mandate was actually passed in 2012, but due to challenges made against the rules, the law didn’t go into effect until this year. The law will likely be implemented in late 2016, meaning that all carriers must have EOBRs installed by that date.
How does it Affect Drivers?
The old method of drivers having to log hours in a logbook gave room for errors in time tracking. EOBRs ensure automatic, accurate time tracking and scheduling. By using EOBRs, drivers know exactly when it’s time to weigh in and when to take breaks. The devices can also calculate distance travelled and hours logged, helping drivers spend more time on getting products delivered instead of calculating time spent on the road.
How does it Affect Businesses?
For businesses, the EOBR mandate means accurate reporting, which translates to knowing that everything is running properly. In addition to logging drivers’ times, EOBRs can calculate other travel information like miles per gallon, driver speed, maintenance information and delay times. This information can help business owners know how to improve shipping operations. These calculations also let businesses know if shipments were received late and why – which helps when dealing with customers and other businesses who haven’t received shipments on time.
What will it Cost?
Costs associated with switching to EOBRs are a major concern for business owners. Some devices can cost around $1,500 to $2,000, including installation. Fortunately, more affordable ones are available and can be paid monthly or can even be used as an app for mobile devices. Plus, the money saved from drivers not having to fill out paperwork is significant – estimated around $2 billion saved annually.
Some business owners and freight operators might see the EOBR mandate as inconvenient at first. But the money and time saved by not having to manually log time in a logbook is worth the transition to newer, more efficient methods. Use EOBRs to their full potential and make freight management easier and more cost-effective.