Truck News


Should EOBRs Be Mandatory On All Trucks?

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - Truck drivers across the country may have yet another universal mandate coming on the heels of the Jan. 1 speed limiter law - that is if the Obama Administration's influence finds ...

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Truck drivers across the country may have yet another universal mandate coming on the heels of the Jan. 1 speed limiter law – that is if the Obama Administration’s influence finds its way north.

The young US president has moved swiftly to produce the “change” that his history-making campaign was built upon, and it looks as though the trucking industry will be feeling the effects of this change sooner than later. What may be on its way? Electronic On-Board Recorders, devices which gather and process data much like black boxes in airplanes.

EOBRs could be used for safety purposes to monitor things like speed, hard braking and hours-of-service, and if the new Administration has its way, they’ll be mandatory on heavy-duty trucks in the future.

And if Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley’s predictions are correct, it won’t be long until the Canadian trucking industry follows suit (see his column on the subject on pg. 22).

So what do drivers think of the looming possibility of EOBRs? Truck News went to the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to find out.

Steve Murphy’s response to the question was short and sweet.

“I don’t agree with the black box. It is an invasion of privacy,” said the driver for Guelph, Ont.-based Fortress Trucking.

Rob O’Neil, a part-time driver from Colborne, Ont., says he’s never heard of EOBRs before, but he likes the idea.

“I agree in principle, but I’d have to find out more of the details. But ultimately if it ends up saving lives and making drivers more accountable for what they’re doing, then I agree 100% with it.”

Laurie Arsenault, a 50-year veteran of the road, says he doesn’t think EOBRs would make a difference in safety or decrease the number of accidents.

“I think they’re gone crazy with this trucking industry. Fifty years ago when I started, there were truck accidents on the road. There always were truck accidents; there will always be truck accidents. Lady drivers, young drivers, old drivers…they all get in truck accidents one time or another. The box is not going to make one bit of difference one way or another,” said the driver for Warren Transport in Rexton, N. B.

“If they come, I retired five years ago…I’m retiring again in another month and I’ll leave all the trucks to the younger drivers and hopefully they can keep it between the lines.”

Mike Lobreau, a driver for Titan Transport based in Saskatoon, Sask., thinks there are too many regulations for truck drivers already and the government should turn its attention to car drivers instead.

“There’s people pulling amazing things out there and they’re not even on the map of being checked. I can understand the safety factor (for introducing EOBRs), there are some people who push the limits, but I think part of the rules right now are pushing the drivers to push those limits,” he says.

“There’s probably a couple of things that are good (about EOBRs) but right now we have to survive on this regulated 105 km/h thing, so what is next?”

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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