Eliminating unsafe situations improves delivery efficiency. By Jim Angel
lectronic on-board recorders—EOBRs.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are the truck-
ing industry’s true elixir of safety, security
and compliance, not to mention operational
efficiency (but that’s a different subject for a differ-
ent article). The data that these devices provide can
make a tremendous difference in the protection of
drivers and vehicles, as well as their customers.
The provincial attitudes toward EOBRs as “big
brother” and attorneys’ tools that stir the pot have
rightfully evolved into a greater appreciation for
their role in supporting drivers. Perhaps experience
or familiarity has propelled this acceptance.
And, oh by the way, the Obama administration
has demonstrated its support of EOBRs by inching
heavy-duty trucks toward a federal mandate. So how
far away can the entire industry be?
Unsafe=Inefficient, Costlier Delivery KEEPING TRACK: Electronic log systems improve driver safety by more accurately
Delivery is all about arriving on time, unloading, tracking the number of hours each driver can legally be on the road.
and departing on schedule from each customer stop,
so a driver completes a specified route within its allotted time frame. help drivers avoid situations that could put them at risk, and dispatch
There are several reasons beyond the driver’s control that can cause can proactively intervene should the data call for them to do so.
delivery delays—accidents, construction detours, vehicle problems,
and yes, even customers. EOBRs To The Rescue
Customers can unwittingly create roadblocks in terms of unsafe or Now let’s continue this example and examine how EOBR data can
unsecured delivery conditions that can force drivers to spend more help transportation managers correct conditions that put their delivery
than their planned-for time at stops. The best way to convey this situa- drivers at risk. It’s all about having the right information and the ability
tion is through a real-life example. to compare it.
A driver pulls up to a fast-food restaurant at night after business hours EOBRs generate data that provides visibility into what the driver is
with a delivery of buns. He has a key to the facility and assumes it’s safe doing. This data presented in a comparative reporting platform that
to unload as is customary with this stop. Unknown to the driver, who reveals anomalies creates a built-in management-alert system. Keep in
starts to unload as he always does without a hitch, there is an obstacle mind, though,