Tuesday, September 4, 2012

EOBR's, the truths and myths

Ok, so today I was listening to my XM radio while driving down the road. One of the topics was the EOBR mandate that congress put in the highway transportation bill. Now right off the bat I know there are some pretty uninformed drivers but today most of them just set me off on the deep end.

I mean heck, almost to a man they all lamented on how they wish we were back in the 'good old days' running the paper logs how we used to over 10 years ago.

I started driving in 93, and from day one I dealt with paper logs with the job I had.  I'll be honest, the morons that want to go back to those days are just flat out stupid, and that's being nice to the stupid people.  The rules we had at that point were over 50 years old!!!!! 50 years!!!!  Do I need to say it again? 50 years!!!!!   They were initially enacted back when trucks were just a wee bit different than they are now.

So yes, the rules needed to change with the times.  Manufacturers made the trucks a heck of a lot more comfortable to drive and ride in.  A person was not as worn out driving a full day vs 15-20 years ago.  The old rules were that...old.

Now I'll admit, no one likes it when the government gets involved in regulation and rulemaking, but when the industry won't voluntarily do it themselves they have to step in and this is where we are today.

The first myth is that when running an EOBR, you will drive less miles vs paper logs where drivers could 'fudge' things once in a while.  Well I have been running with an EOBR for over a year now, and you know what, my revenue on my truck went UP...not down.

The key to making the EOBR work for you is this neat little thing called 'time management'.  Even when I ran paper logs I did time management down to the point I could inform anyone when I would deliver and be there ON TIME, EVERY TIME.  If a driver isn't doing time management, he is wasting alot of time I can guarantee that.

An EOBR also helps with those pesky shippers and receivers that like to keep you over their allotted 2 hours to load or unload.  It's really hard for their billing department to argue when you have devices with GPS capability that your equipment was there when you said it was.  Unless they like paying the massive detention time that I know companies are charging, the more companies running EOBR's, the quicker they are going to unload those trucks.

Another myth is that you can't change anything on an EOBR.  Well I know with the model I have, a Qualcomm MCT200, I can edit any line BUT the drive line. 

This one is probably not a myth, BUT any company pulling this kind of crap won't have quality drivers for long.  Companies are forcing their drivers to drive their full 11 hours, or get back on the road right when their 10 is up.  The one I drive for doesn't do that.  To micromanage a driver like that is really not worth it.  The companies that do this kind of a practice have an extremely high turnover rate I'm willing to bet.

Once you drive your 11, or reach your 14, you have to shut down or get a violation.  The log rules didn't change people.  The exception for bad weather etc of 2 hours still applies.  It just means you have to DOCUMENT what the reason is.

Only the big companies want EOBR's.  Really?  The large carriers only make up about 10 percent of the total companies out here.  You would be surprised to see how many smaller carriers have 'electronic logs in use' stickers on their trucks so that myth is a wash.

My final thing is that as we continue to get more technology, its going to get used.  A person can either flow with the times, and be vigilant, to make sure the rules are fair.... or they just flat need to get out of the industry.  Things are NOT going to go back to the 'good old days', trust me.

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