Why OOIDA is actually hurting its members

For an association that takes pride in fighting for the rights of truckers, I find it hard to understand why the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) remains vehemently opposed to electronic onboard recorders.
As you know, US legislators are considering a provision that would require all longhaul trucks to be equipped with electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) for real time monitoring of drivers’ compliance with hours of service rules. This side of the border, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been coordinating an effort among carriers and professional drivers to voice support for the mandatory implementation of EOBRs.
Both the American Trucking Associations and the Canadian Trucking Alliance say their members, many of whom have gone ahead and started using EOBRs in their fleets ahead of any government mandate, have found that it improves compliance, safety and operating efficiency.
But OOIDA refuses to be convinced and its attacks are becoming increasingly vitriolic.
First is OOIDA’s cost argument. EOBRs are “exorbitantly expensive”, according to OOIDA, which claims EOBRs will cost between $1,000 and $1,500 to purchase – a pretty steep increase from the paper logbooks currently available at truck stops or from carriers for little or no charge. And based on that cost, OOIDA goes on to claim the costs will hurt owner/operators and small fleet owners.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance counters that EOBRs can be purchased as a standalone device in the $300-$500 range (hours of service recording only) or up to $700-$800 for units with additional options such as routing, dispatch, communication and fleet management capabilities. That’s a pretty wide range in pricing so obviously one side is manipulating numbers to strengthen their argument.
Who should you believe? Well, having reported on this industry for more than 20 years, I can tell you one thing: Margins are so tight in this industry that carriers are pretty quick to complain about anything they consider a needless expense. So why have so many proven willing to invest in EOBRs before the devices are mandated? Could it be they deemed them to be a worthwhile investment that could help them save money?
And if you really don’t trust anything a carrier association says, do a little digging on your own. You will find that the VDO RoadLog, introduced at Mid-America, retails for $499 and has no monthly subscription fee. So it has a one-time cost of $499 and it does everything you need it to do to comply with the proposed rule. Paper logbooks at $3/month cost about $36/year so if this thing lasts you 10 years, you’re out $130 over 10 years. .Why does OOIDA assume the highest priced onboard communications system and ignore the low-cost, no monthly fee opions such as the VDO Roadlog. Does the association care more about trying to score political points than properly informing its members?
The CTA reports that carriers which have voluntarily implemented EOBRs have reported as much as a 75% reduction in hours of service violations. With hours of service penalties costing up to $400 per violation, this alone would create a considerable business cost savings. Why would OOIDA deny its own members such an opportunity? Owner/operators and small fleets have been hammered worse than anyone during the recession and the slow recovery; they’re the ones who can least afford hours of service penalties. The driver surveys conducted for the Best Fleets to Drive For award indicate that most drivers who have e-logs actually like them and consider them an advantage. So why does OOIDA want its members to continue to waste their time slaving over paper logs? Again, I ask, does OOIDA care more about scoring political points than properly educating its members so they can make an intelligent decision on the issue?
There is also the issue of monthly fees for some of the more comprehensive systems, which could be $25-$30 a month. But in most cases it will be the trucking company, not the driver/independent operator, who will pay the monthly fee because these systems can be used for more than just HOS compliance, which OOIDA fails to mention. They use the same system for GPS tracking, in-cab communications, etc. So why does OOIDA raise cost as an issue when the people actually footing the bill don’t see it as one?
OOIDA’s next argument is that EOBRs are actually a way for large companies to squeeze more productivity out of drivers and increase costs for the small trucking companies they compete with. It is true that Canada’s largest carriers do want to consolidate the industry but if EOBRs are helping them squeeze more productivity out of their drivers as OOIDA accuses, why would they want to give up such a competitive advantage to their smaller competitors by making EOBRs mandatory for all?
Could it be that the reverse of what OOIDA is claiming is actually closer to the truth? Could it be that the current antiquated system, where it’s all too easy to fudge the paper log or keep multiple logs, hurts drivers by allowing shady operators to compete on an uneven playing field? Would an electronic record that can’t be easily fudged not be a better way to ensure drivers are able to stay within what is considered legally acceptable driving hours? Why would OOIDA want to deny that to its members?
Owner/operators tend to be wary of change. I recall many opposing satellite communications when that technology emerged 20 years ago; yet they wouldn’t want to be without it today. It’s easy for an association to simply feed the fears of its members. It takes leadership to embrace change and make the effort to guide its members through it.

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With more than 25 years of experience reporting on transportation issues, Lou is one of the more recognizable personalities in the industry. An award-winning writer well known for his insightful writing and meticulous market analysis, he is a leading authority on industry trends and statistics.

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  • OOIDA has always catered to the same 3 people. At least since 1994. They don’t really speak for anyone but those 3. They make a lot of claims otherwise. I quit paying them when I tried to park at their headquarters.

  • Again like speed limiters or EOBRs if you want to use them
    go ahead WHY? again WHY? the need for mandate by law?

  • recall many opposing satellite communications when that technology emerged 20 years ago; yet they wouldn’t want to be without it today. It’s easy for an association to simply feed the fears of its members. It takes leadership to embrace change and make the effort to guide its members through it.
    Is satellite not a de facto EOBR in a audit?
    So we are already there.
    Some would rather a cell phone.

  • A level playing field? What a frigging Joke! Do you consider qual com an OBDR? When the US hours of service reflect what happens in the real world I would have no problem
    Montering every 1/1000 second of my life. Untill that time take your BIG BROTHER Satellite ankle collar and stick it where the sun dont shine. My hours of service force me to stay on the highway as the 4 wheelers scratch and claw their way to and from work. My hours of service force me to stay on duty while naping at the dock because the shipper does nt have the cargo they contracted me to haul. Level playing field? One truck, one trailer, one driver VS 3000 trucks 4000 drivers and 10000 trailers. Hummmmm who’s got a level playing field. I cant live on $8/hr I can’t loose $43M a quarter so I can “compete” on a level playing field! The mega carriers are doing the same thing to trucking as big business is doing to workers and small business. You only have 30% of the trucks but own 95% of the politicians and make rules n regs that screw the rest of us! It’s all about the top 1/10%. and their putting all of us out of business and out of our homes. It all has very little to do with safety. It’s about Power, Control and $$$$$$$$$.

  • If $400 and complying with the current hours of service puts you out of business… You don’t have any business being “in business.”

  • Perhaps if more people minded there own business and if you
    want to use EOBRs knock your self out if it is so great others
    will follow.
    Why dose one business get to tell the others how to operate ?
    Notice that the speed limiter law was said to be unconstitutional.
    WELLAND, Ont. — An Ontario justice of the peace today ruled that the province’s speed limiter law for heavy trucks is unconstitutional, and dismissed a charge against truck driver Gene Michaud.
    You can use them if you want just dont mandate by law.
    Or mind your OWN business.

  • Lou wrote.
    Why would OOIDA deny its own members such an opportunity?
    Not denying just make up your own mind over time if its as
    good as you say they can join up at anytime.
    Why mandate and take away your freedom of choice?

  • Hey Lou:
    You mentioned you have 20 years in this business. Well Lou, I have been a CANADIAN trucker for 42! and I worked for my father’s trucking business after schools and weekends doing repairs, loading trucks, helping in the office long before that. That being said, I was directly involved in trucking most likely longer than you were alive. I was trucking back in the 70’s and 80’s when trucking was heavily regulated and made money doing it. Then deregulation reared it’s ugly head in the United States and dominoed its way into Canada. After that point in time, it has always been a struggle to break even let alone make money. The point I am trying to make is “WE WERE LESS REGULATED UNDER A REGULATED ENVIRONMENT THAN WE ARE NOW UNDER DEREGULATION! This whole issue with EOBR’s is “MORE REGULATION IN A DEREGULATED ENVIRONMENT”. I applaud OOIDA with their stand on this issue and many others. I even went so far that I dropped my membership in a provincial trucking association after 25 years as a member and forwared these membership dues to OOIDA. Most truckers who are around for 10 or more years already know how to run their businesses and don’t need any snot nosed politician or columnist to tell them how to do it! We need to go back to the days when men were men and say NO! to burdening truckers with this type of political bullshit.

  • I have insisted that we need to start negotiations so that when the mandate comes out then the government. will revoke the FLSA exemtion for trucking.
    A law as old as log books,once we have eobr they can ttrack our hours and should pay overtime.
    OOIDA, won’t help me start the petition. I say it will help O/O’s as much as it would work for company drivers. That would level playing field and get attention of rate setters.

  • I wouldn’t mind knowing the three individuals (or organizations) that Jim Johnson was referring to in his post on Friday of last week.Jim??

  • I am all for being safe and we all know that trucks have gotten many times safer in the last 10 years. Lou you need to be careful when you slam OOIDA like that, they have done a lot of good in the past and they have a very valid point in their stand against recorders. Just imagine if you had a recorder strapped on you, and it would require you to deduct or add time to your time card. Leaving work 8 minuets early, getting 7 cups of coffee during the day, your computer freezing or having a error happen, fellow employees talking to you about non work related things would all be taken into consideration in your daily time recording. Recording these things would be nuts, and in essence that is what we are doing to truck drivers. I think all dispatchers, office staff, safety personnel, owners, everyone related to trucking should spend a week riding along with a driver to see what they put up with. Lets be safe and fair. PS. I know 1 company has taken these recorders out of their trucks because there is no way they could keep a schedule without going to team driving.

  • The post from wannabefair is right on the mark. Thank you for explaining in a way the most can understand!

  • Now hold on here, Lou. OOIDA IS the members. The association gets more than 1,000 calls a day and thousands of letters, emails and personal visits from truckers who bring their perspectives to headquarters. Our board and our executive staff make massive efforts to gather information that helps the association form a position. The goal is ONE position on the issue at hand. That’s how the EOBR position comes to be. Our members DON’T WANT A MANDATE. They want a choice. And I will guarantee you that’s a position that has been set by an overwhelming majority of OOIDA’s membership.

  • Lou (& Trucknews Magazine), It seems to me that more and more you (Trucknews) are the ‘official voice’ of the OTA and CTA, you just seem to parrot what they allow you to say. (I don’t suppose you’re concerned your advertisers, many of them OTA members, may have threatened to withdraw their ads if you continue to oppose OTA initiatives, such as your early opposition to speed limiters which is now support?). And dare you not oppose their effort to mandate EOBR’s!! I’ve maintained from the start, and continue to state, that speed limiters are NOT SAFE!! I’m now retired but I would refuse to drive any truck equipped with a speed limiter, and I don’t speed! And the same with an EOBR. There is no way that anyone can sanely suggest or prove that they are in any way, shape or form a beneficial safety tool. On the contrary, all these things will do is force a driver to follow rigid administrative schedules dictated by the HOS regulations which are often not a reasonable reflection of reality. They are an invention by out-of-touch bureaucrats who have convinced themselves that the HOS regulations they’ve drafted are a “one-size-fits-all” for all drivers in all situations and conditions and the EOBR’s will only FORCE drivers to adhere. There are far too may negative facts available about EOBR’s that you may do well to research and report on to your readers if you dare. These organizations that claim to show stats otherwise have tortured the facts to suit their ‘truth’ and eliminated inconvenient truths! Just look at what the FMCSA has done (is doing?) with legitimate negative speed limiter studies and how the OTA and the Ontario government (when the speed limiters were mandated) ignored and discarded negative facts.
    I too am a proud Canadian Lifetime OOIDA member and, even though I don’t always agree with their arbitrary views, I strongly believe and support they are an excellent voice for the independent operators and drivers across all of North America. They will never be accused of just ‘rolling over’ on contentious issues such as you and Trucknews apparantly do to save your advertising dollars. OOIDA and OBAC are the only voices that small operators and drivers have that speaks for them, don’t ever delude yourself by thinking the OTA, CTA, ATA et al give two tiddly winks about drivers, it’s the carriers they represent.
    Keep up the good work OBAC & OOIDA!!!!

  • These articles you author continue to show that while you understand what members of the OTA and CTA are telling you, you don’t have a clue about owner-operators. It is their independance that drives them and all of this nonsense constantly erodes it. The only sattelite in my trucks is for tv reception. As far as the EBOR arguments go I don’t care for them but am torn because I really wonder if they could be used to increase payment for detention time and get rates back to where they should be, some are decent but some are lacking and the same is true for accessorial charges. I am generally an a very early adapter of any innovation that I see as benefical but this kind of stuff that provides easy montitoring rubs me the wrong way. There are many better ways to achieve safety than much of the nonsense advocated under the guise of safety.
    I agree with Fred Webster, I grew up exactly the same way with my whole family in the business and things were better in every regard before this deregulation. If you knew what you were doing you could still get operating authority under that old system but that was key that you knew how under the old PCV system in Ontario and the various other regimes in other jurisdictions. Today with the easy entry, everybody with a fax and a computer that’s a load broker and every special interest group that knows nothing about trucking having so much clout with the governments you need your head read if you enter thhis business now a days. If you do a truthfull analysis of the trucking business, especially if you run into the litigious states of America, trucking is actually a high risk low return venture. There are no shortage of some appointed experts like yourself that think they know what’s best for those of us actually doing it. Some times reading your publication I wonder if you get approval from Dave Bradley before posting or printing some of these things to make sure it falls in line with the official CTA/OTA ponit of view.

  • I know Ed and agree. Lou post his blogs and like Steven Large
    says he never engages the comments.
    To busy ? or to afraid?

  • While I have mixed feelings about EOBRs (I’m a company driver, and the son and nephew of O/Os), I do agree with the comment that the Truck News is more and more just a mouthpiece for the big trucking companies.
    Our industry needs a quality source of news and information, a forum for discussion reflecting the various viewpoints of all parts of the truck transportation sector. Truck News can be this. I hope it chooses to be.

  • I am an old-timer, and a life member of OBAC and OOIDA. Both of these organizations have worked hard to represent the owner-operator, which I appreciate very much. I read Trucknews to stay in the know about things related to the trucking industry; but much of what I read seems to be slanted toward the perspective of the OTA with whom I often disagree. Because of this particular article, I am seriously contemplating not reading your slanted reporting anymore in the fear that it may influence me in a negative way.

  • Well Mr. Smyrlis, I see you are still polishing your resume’ for your pending addition to the CTA staff where you’ll join other journalists like Marco.
    Of all the journalists writing for trucking industry magazines, none have drunk the CTA Kool-aid more than Tokyo Lou. I don’t recall you ever writing a story which didn’t extol the virtues of “Team Bradley”, while simultaneously maligning anyone who has a differing point of view.
    “Trending” and “On Trend” are part of the new vernacular, and carrier associations hiring slick and polished communication specialists (journalists) to put the spin on their “version of the truth” is certainly “on trend”. Even the president of the BCTA has a bachelor of journalism. Own the media / control and dominate the conversation!
    Let’s examine the truth shall we: There is absolutely “NO DATA” to support the claim that EOBR’s will create safer roads, in fact, in the US less than 1.4% of all accidents involving commercial vehicles have had hours of service violations cited in the accident reports.
    On your claim of a 75% reduction of violation: CVSE officers in large part are not yet looking at drivers with electric logs – they lack the means to read or audit them at roadside and FYI: drivers still manipulate their input to EOBR’s by logging “off duty” at the loading dock. Despite the claims, EOBR’s will not produce the electronic safety nirvana CTA is selling.
    “Level the playing field”:
    Each year the Top 100 carriers report their asset numbers, just looking at the past five years – Trans Force has ranked number 1 each year and in the past year alone – has increased their assets by over 113%. The story is pretty much the same as you go down the list.
    Those poor large carriers sure need to the playing field leveled don’t they….
    I was present at the CCMTA AGM in Winnipeg this past May and I would like to set the record straight: There were two trucking associations present supposedly “representing drivers and owner operators”, The North American Truckers Guild and OBAC. On the last day, when industry round table discussions were held, OBAC deliberately declined comment on EOBR’s and Speed Limiters. The Truckers Guild was the lone voice in the room defending the rights and freedoms of drivers and owner operators yet, the NATG gets no credit for our work and commitment while organizations which chose to stand curiously silent – do get credit. Far too many people in this industry are misinformed on “who” is doing “what”.
    As a small fleet owner, I must soon make the decision on whether to expand my operation or not; I have had larger fleets in the past and have faced all the challenges which come with that position: controlling HoS and safety “remotely” – it is not an easy task. If I choose to expand, it is likely that I will incorporate options like limiting the speed of “my” vehicles as well as “monitoring” hour of service through electronic means. This will be my choice; the people that I will employ also will have a choice “hire on or don’t” – the conditions of employment will be clear and I will hire responsibly.
    Part of my decision to expand will be based on my ability to “pay my employees well” – in return for their dedication to promoting my company and ultimate success. If I cannot generate enough revenue to accomplish this, I will not expand (unlike some others)!
    At the end of the day, my personal concern about EOBR’s is based on looking a little further down the road: It has been estimated that the cost of a broad based mandate would cost the US industry 2 billion dollars; the Canadian industry being one tenth the size (then) could conceivably cost 200 million dollars.
    Is it possible that we are poised to “waste” all of this money?
    RFI – Radio Frequency Identification transmitters are said to be coming from the factory as part of the manufacturing process in the not too distant future, this will offer the ability to track all “equipment” (not people) as it moves down the road. It would be possible to mandate RFI chips be installed on existing equipment and “presto”, the EOBR is now outdated technology.
    Mr. Smyrlis, I am about as interested in purchasing an EOBR as you would be in purchasing a typewriter.

  • Look at the unintended consequences of cell phones now you want
    What can carriers learn from a recent $24-million judgment against Coca-Cola?
    TEXT SIZE bigger text smaller text
    By: James Menzies
    PORTLAND, Ore. — A ban on the use of handheld cell phones by commercial drivers in the US, passed earlier this year, exposes motor carriers to even greater liability should their drivers ignore the law and be involved in a crash.
    The federal law, passed Jan. 3., prohibits commercial truck drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. The law still allows hands-free devices to be used, provided drivers wear a headset and can answer a call or dial a number with the push of a single button.
    Drivers caught violating the law are subject to fines of US$2,700 while carriers can be fined US$11,000 for each violation.
    Now that the law is on the books, motor carriers involved in an accident while their driver uses a handheld cell phone are unlikely to find sympathy from judge or jury, and the judgments could be staggering, warned Angela Cash, partner with US law firm Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, when speaking during a recent Webinar on legal issues facing motor carriers, hosted by HR and compliance software provider Compli.
    Cash said that in the past, cell phone usage among drivers was so prevalent, that defense attorneys could argue that talking while driving was a reasonable thing to do. The new law changes all that.
    “Now, the plaintiff attorneys will simply point to the regulation and they will have that as a sword to use and to put into the jury’s hands,” she explained. “It takes away an argument we had before (that talking on the phone while driving was reasonable), which oftentimes resonated with a jury.”
    Tim Wiseman, managing partner at the same law firm, said while it’s not required by the DoT, motor carriers should implement some form of written cell phone policy for drivers – and other staff, as well. It should also advise against pulling to the side of the road to use mobile phones.
    “A lot of states don’t allow standing on the sides of the Interstates. We see a lot of litigation with commercial motor vehicles parked at the side of the road where a passing motorist runs into the back end of him and ultimately, we’re on the hook because we violated state law that restricts parking of a motor vehicle on the shoulder,” Wiseman explained. “When implementing a policy, make sure you address whether they can or should pull over to the side of the Interstate to make a phone call because that sometimes creates even greater liability than using the cell phone in the first place.”
    Wiseman also said managers, dispatchers and other support staff should be included in the policy and discouraged from contacting drivers when they’re behind the wheel.
    “They need to be taught to avoid calling the driver when he’s on the road as much as they can,” he said. “Presumably (using GPS), the dispatcher knows when the truck is in movement, so the dispatcher should avoid calling or texting or communicating with the driver whenever they know that truck is in operation.”
    Cash suggested carriers write into their policy a requirement for dispatchers to immediately determine when calling drivers whether or not the driver is parked in a safe spot or using a hands-free device.
    “If the answer from the driver is no, have the dispatcher say they need to get the headset on and call back,” Cash suggested.
    Having a written cell phone policy offers fleets some protection when facing scrutiny from a judge, jury or enforcement agency. Cash said some carriers even offer headsets to their drivers, which increases the likelihood of them adhering to the policy.
    Still, despite the precautions, carriers with non-compliant drivers face a heightened risk of being sued now that the law has been passed. Cash and Wiseman pointed to a recent $24-million judgment against Coca-Cola, which didn’t involve a commercial vehicle but nonetheless highlights some of the risks.
    A salesperson for Coca-Cola was actually in compliance with the federal law and using a headset, but allegedly was distracted when she was involved in a collision in Corpus Christi, Texas. The victim survived the crash but required lower back surgery that amounted to just over $100,000.
    “The plaintiff attorney argued Coke doesn’t enforce its cell phone policy and encouraged the jury to send a message with a verdict,” Cash explained.
    The message came in the form of a $10-million judgment for punitive damages and another $14 million for compensatory damages. Given the medical expenses were just over $100,000, Cash said she nobody would have “predicted the kind of result we saw.”
    The judgment, even though it didn’t involve a heavy truck, should be an eye-opener for motor carriers, Cash said.
    “If a verdict like this could be entered against a good company like Coca-Cola, what are the risks out there for my company?” she implored trucking companies to ask. “And this did not involve a commercial motor vehicle. Juries have a predisposition against big trucks, so I think we have to look at these verdicts even if they do come out of an unfavourable jurisdiction. The tide is turning and people are less tolerant of companies that allow employees to engage in distracted driving in the form of cell phone usage.”
    Added Wiseman: “I think all companies out there are at risk of these types of completely ridiculous and unreasonable jury verdicts.”
    Carriers that implement a written cell phone policy should have drivers sign on in agreement and may even want them to accept responsibility for fines or damages resulting from violation of the agreement, Wiseman suggested. He said it’s a good idea to have separate policies for company drivers and lease-operators, to ensure there’s no clouding of a lease-op’s independent status.
    Cash said some carriers are adopting a complete ban on cell phones while driving, including hands-free devices.
    “With a few more verdicts like Coca-Cola, you’ll see more lean in that direction,” she predicted.

  • Is Lou really that far out of touch of O/O reality? Has he ever tried to run his own trucking business? When the playing fields are level then we can consider the use speed limiters and recorders usefull.

  • My issue with EOBRs is simple. EOBRs put where and when I sleep in the hands of the feds.
    If I had to start the day at 3am to make an appointment, for example, I have to shut down at 5 pm, latest. I don’t know about government regulators, but personally I find it difficult to get to sleep at 5pm in the afternoon.
    At any time if I want to make the most of my available hours I have to use up all my 11 or 14, whichever comes first. With an EOBR that might mean the side of a noisy freeway off ramp instead of a nice, safe, quiet, out-of-the-way parking spot.
    Don’t get me wrong. I believe in my 10 off. I like my 10 off. I need those hours to get a good night’s rest to be safe the next day. but WHERE I take that 10 off is critical to my quality of sleep! I’m too old to sleep anywhere, anytime, and so are most truckers I know.
    With no EOBR I can fudge a hour or two here or there and park where I feel comfortable, and still get my 10 off. If I take an extra hour today, I’ll have to work an hour less tomorrow. But that’s fine. I’m still getting all the hours I’m due, I’m taking off all the hours I’m required to, and I’m getting a better night’s rest to boot and driving safer as a result. Is that such a bad thing?
    The regulators and do-gooders will say, ‘well, just shut down a little early, if you have to, in a spot you’re comfortable with.’ My reply to that is simple: regulators and do-gooders aren’t making a living driving. My JOB is to make the most of my hours. My company demands it. My paycheck demands it. I demand it of myself, because I’m not out there to spend quality time with my truck.

  • Hey Dutch, I wasn’t old enough to drive until 1983, but in Ab, we did not need to run log books either. I remember all of the same things that you are talking about…if you were getting a bit sleepy, just pull over and have a coffee (wherever and when ever you felt like it)-with all the guys at the ‘trucker table’ and spend an hour or so getting/trading advice. Then drive until YOU wanted to stop and sleep, then sleep until you were not tired and then drive again! What a novel idea! – Sleep when you are tired and drive when you are not! It is definitely less safe on the roads today than it was in the 70’s and 80’s!

  • E.B.O.R’s are just another puppet control over drivers/on/op’s do we really want proffesional steering wheel holders?For years Canadian drivers drivers did not even have log books it was not till 1989 when drivers/ow/op sucessfuly blocked border crossing that log books became law in Canada.Drivers have more control then they think we can control econmies yes we can but drivers have been programed to think we are low on the pay scale DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD BE HAPPY TO HAVE A JOB.I’m all for E.B.OR.s if itr results in drivers ow/ops being paid by the hour for everything they do right from pretrip loadin/unloading waitring time border detention etc.But if I held my breath I would turn really blue and probality die before that happens.For years these big companies have come up with all these good ideas to protect all us underpaid idiots like speedlimiters log books etc.Take JUST IN TIME DELIVERY it pushes drivers to the point where a driver has the choice fall asleep at the wheel or make your delivery unfortunatey alot of drivers make the first choice.Whaterver happened to Common sense I’M TRIED I NEED SLEEP I SHOULD GO TO SLEEP!More control by governtment and bi9 trucking bigwigs is not the answer here.Drivers ow/op’s take control back of our once proud industry we have more control than we realize We can crash ecomonies dont belelive it think about it Every consumer product used has been at some point on at truck.WITH OUT THE HARD WORKIN MEN AND WOMEN OF TRUCKING INDUSTRY AUTO WORKERS DONT WORK STEEL WORKERS CANT WORK YOUR LOCAL 711 CANT WORK WITHOUT US.Wake up drivers op/ow’s we have more power than we think coutinue on the path we are on it will become an industry of PROFFESSIONAL STEERING WHEEL HOLDERS.Nothing more or less.

  • Lou:
    I do not where to start! So here goes my soliloquy.
    EOBR’s as desired by the USA and Canadian departments are NOT $300-500. They will be a minimum of $1,000 PLUS subscription fees to get device’s that are GPS compatible with the requirement to download that data multiple times daily. This cost will NOT include the necessary hardware at your home office to receive this data.
    EOBR’s will not improve safety. They will monitor driving hours only!!! According to multiple witness’s the EOBR’s, currently on the market, can be manipulated by the Carrier’s to “give” drivers more hours to drive. ON-Duty time will still be at the discretion of the driver and again the carrier’s “desire” to maximize the drivers time available to drive. EOBR’s WILL erase all form and manner violations that are the majority of the “fatigue” BASIC. IF EOBR’s improve safety should not the large carriers using these devices have the best safety records on the road? According to the CSA BASIC’s the large carriers are among the worst. Did you notice that this EOBR mandate became Government desire #1 after the “Fatigue” BASIC was revealed? This is nothing but a government “look good” project!!
    EOBR’s will facilitate compliance and efficiency. All form and manner mistakes will be negated and carriers will have carte blanche to harass drivers the second their off duty time is up! We all know this is happening whether for training seminars or so a dispatcher can get a bones because the load is early or on time! So from an office standpoint efficiency is improved while in reality driver rest and SAFETY is compromised.
    Electronic logging is available using Drivers Daily Log software (www.driversdailylog.com). I have been using this program since 2002 and HAVE never received any form and manner violations or derogatory remarks about my log book!!! THIS is electronic logging that completely conforms to the CURRENT HOS regulations! EOBR’s do not conform to current regulations hence the push for new regulations to allow for their use. And for those curious I have driven over 3,000,000 miles without a log book infraction.
    Unintended consequences will arise from this mandate and I will list some of them:
    1. The need to keep a paper logbook at the same time as the EOBR to ensure compliance if the EOBR fails. This will allow the inspectors to write violations for having two log books.
    2. Government will “regulate” that this data be downloaded to them within 3 years.
    3. Costs for all goods will rise to pay for the EOBR’s and the ensuing regulations (see above). Or smaller profit margins for carriers and Owner/Operator’s which delays replacement equipment which negates the EMISSION and GHG regulations as no one can afford a new truck.
    4. Insurance costs will rise! Now ANY accident (your fault or not) will have 6 months of GPS tracked data for plaintiff lawyers to examine for any error’s. Once ONE error is found they will call the driver a liar and want to negate the whole evidence chain of COMPLIANCE so they can settle the lawsuit for large amounts of money!! The scariest part is there does not have to be an error but a misrepresentation of the rules. I.e. logging personal use of the truck will allow a lawyer to misrepresent this as driving time while in reality it is legal!!!
    5. HIGHER taxes for all taxpaying individuals to cover the cost of the new federal employee’s.
    6. Less qualified drivers!
    7. An immediate decline in the highly experienced driver pool.
    8. Less home time for the drivers.
    9. Higher than projected costs. I predict this regulation will cost in excess of $10,000,000,000 before it is done.
    Have second thoughts Lou and realize that GOVERNMENT mandates are not the answer to safety!!! Driver training and experience are the ONLY way to improve. The best technology in the world is NOT GOING TO PREVENT A HUMAN ERROR IN JUDGEMENT!!!!

  • If your store close.s at 5 pm and some one shows up at
    4.59pm And they need to buy a sump pump cause there.s
    quite working do you tell them sorry I am out of hours?
    I cannot fill your request in the time big brother has give me.
    I am being tracked by a EOBR.

  • Hey, meslippery, that is a very good example of what the EOBR will do to the industry! Anyone who argues with that just doesn’t get it! Every driver in the country NEEDS to do whatever they can to prevent this ridiculous legislation from being passed! Go to your Minister of Parliament and your local MLA and explain it exactly the same way! The other thing that many people have not considered, is; Where in the world are the trucks going to park? There are millions of places in Canada where there are no proper parking areas for trucks, no necessary services such as washrooms, or even a place to get something to eat, especially at night! Unless a driver is completely familiar with what services are where, it is for sure that an EOBR (or anybody who is pushing them down our throats) can not know where facilities are located! Who in the world could imagine that places such as Camrose, Ab. or Lloydminster, Sk. have NO place to get a meal at night if you are driving a truck? As for narrow minded people from further east, like LOU, even in Ontario, I can think of hundreds of places where it is no different!

  • Stephen the people who write the rules go home at 5 O clock.
    Sit in there hot tubs and order chinese food.
    We with EOBRs will have to stop in the middle of no where and
    if un-prepared cut off one of our legs if we want to eat.

  • Lou and the rest of the so called journalists at Trucknews only write what Bradley and the rest of his OTA minions want them too,it’s been quite clear for many years that the OTA doesnt give a rats ass about the drivers, it’s all about how much money they can make the Challengers and Kriska’s of the world, hence the leveling the playing field crap when they mandated the speed limiters and now they’re using the same argument. EOBR’s will be the death of this industry, I’ve been at this for 15 years and will go find something else to do when EOBR’s are forced down my throat, along with many other experienced drivers that will leave the industry. Having inexperienced drivers out there with a clock that ends at 14 hours, there is going to be alot of drivers with the mentality of go go go, racing the 14 hour clock, not real great for safety if you ask me. Lou time for you to remember what you learned in journalism and ask your minions at the OTA what the cons are of EOBR’s if they cant come up with any then their claim is bogus and their whole leveling the field comments rendered mute.

  • READ some of this.
    This is Were the OTA wants to take us.
    Page 35 – Rules on Drivers Hours and Tachographs
    Page 140 – Vehicle and Operator Services Agency Enforcement Sanctions Policy
    Do not argue with an idiot, He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
    User avatar
    Posts: 6153
    Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:04 pm

  • the only way the electronic logs will work is if drivers are paid a professional wage and payed by the hour, for all hours we are away from home.Shippers and receivers should be charged by the hour when loading and delivering loads. A few thousand truck parking facilities with 24 hour restaurants would also be required to be built to accommodate the rotating hour of service window……….maybe they should just back off with the stupid regulations and let the drivers decide when they are tired and when it is unsafe or inefficient to continue.The hours of service window has forced me to drive tired,through heavy traffic, bad weather, into the sun at sunset and sunrise and a hundred other situations that I would simply take a break to avoid in the past. Now I can’t afford to loose the time out of the window….Brilliant

  • Can you say “No places to park”??? Why should a man be subject to working conditions he cannot control bud?
    And to top it off be forced to live with filthy sweat on his body till a man made box that supports rules that degrade his manhood even more when no one else in any industry does?
    Say bud how would you like to be milked for all the work I can squeeze out of you down to the last second???
    I had one at another company and it was just a pain in the rectum to keep taping on it when a log book is more ergonomically correct and lighter too!
    And those steering wheel holders you speak of are being muffled by the same company that they work for and many are newbies too!
    What you need to ask is why did they make the rules more complicated than they need to be and or why doesn’t the government just throw the log system out :the window and back drivers when they say no I’m tired?
    The so-called professional driver which you won’t find in any rules but instead is called a driver by the DOT and FMCSA is only used after an accident especially a fatality is just a myth.
    If one follows the money one discovers the truth…