What is an Electric On-Board Recorder?

Electric on-board recorders are electronic devices used in tractor-trailers to record the amount of time a truck is being driven, or the Hours of Service (HOS). HOS are a set of rules used to regulate the amount of time truck drivers spend on the road. According to the HOS, truck drivers a required to get a minimum of 10 hours rest after driving up to 11 hours of the first 14 hours they are on duty. These rules are set in place to combat the wide spread problem of driver fatigue — when drivers fall asleep at the wheel because they have been driving for too long with little rest. There has been a large push to make EOBRs mandatory in all commercial trucks, an industry that currently uses easy-to-fudge pen and paper log books. However, the trucking industry is pushing back against the EOBR movement as it will make it more difficult for them to get around the HOS regulations. Here are some common myths and facts about EOBR:

  • Myth – EOBRs record all kinds of driver and vehicle information. Fact – EOBRs only record information when the engine is turned on and when the truck is being driven. They only record the amount of time the truck was driven to verify compliance with HOS regulations.
  • Myth – EOBRs are used to get more drive time out of drivers. Fact – The opposite is true here. EOBRs are used to ensure that the drivers abide by HOS rules and not exceed the allowed drive times.  Driver fatigue is a serious problem in the trucking industry and is one of the most common factors in deadly trucking accidents. EOBRs are used to combat drivers who drive more than they should.
  • Myth – EOBRs are illegal. Fact – While, yes, the U.S. Court of appeals did hold that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association failed to explain how EOBRs would not harass truck drivers, they only sent it back for clarification.
  • Myth – EOBRs are extremely expensive and will kill jobs and hurt the industry’s independent truck drivers. Fact – EOBRs cost around $500 or less in recent years, and they do not even require monthly service fees. As far as them being job killers, EOBRs will force independent truck drivers to abide by the HOS regulations and prevent them from operating their rigs with driver fatigue — thus saving them from the risk of being involved in a deadly accident costing them their life along with innocent others.


While EOBRs can help prevent dangerous operating tactics for commercial truckers, they are not required and many companies still rely on the easily manipulated pen and paper log books. Driver fatigue is a serious problem in the trucking industry and has been the cause of many deadly trucking accidents on America’s highways.


If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck and believe that it was a result of driver negligence or fatigue, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced team of truck accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group today. Call 727-451-6900 for a free and confidential consultation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765