Which one are you using? Since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released its proposed mandate for the use of electronic equipment to measure hours of service and other logging information on trucks, many drivers and fleets have begun the process of installing the new devices in their trucks. But specifically, what are you installing?
When talk began about electronic equipment being used in trucks, they were called Electronic Onboard Recorders or Electronic Onboard Recording, both pared down to the acronym EOBR. However, the official FMCSA rule 395.16 that used EOBR in its language was vacated and the new Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP21) legislation used the terminology of Electronic Logging Device, or ELD. Now, the current FMCSA rule 395.15 is using the term Automatic On-Board Recording Device, making the acronym AOBRD the legally compliant technology today.
But wait! A new term has just surfaced for the technology, calling them Electron Hours-of-Service Recorders, or EHSR.
The truth is, the terms are interchangeable throughout the industry. They all perform the same function, basically. If you check on the FMCSA website (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) you will find more than 320 references to Electronic Onboard Recorders or Electronic Onboard Recording (EOBR). Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is mentioned 153 times, while the Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) now has 25 references. Electronic Hours-of-Service Recorders (EHSR) isn’t mentioned on the FMCSA website, but is listed eight times in a recent press release.
So, which one is the correct term? Well, if you judge by official language, the current FMCSA regulation for hours of service compliance is FMCSA 395.15, which uses the term Automatic On-Board Recording Device, so actually AOBRD is the correct acronym. ELD came along after the EOBR and it is widely believed the use of ELD was easier than EOBR, which is why it gained popularity. ELD is still easier than AOBRD and the new EHSR is just difficult to say.
What is right and what is wrong? There is no correct answer. All of the acronyms mean the same thing. FMCSA’s use of the different acronyms is somewhat confusing, but the bottom line is that the electronics used to determine hours of service and other information within the truck must be compliant with current regulations, regardless of what they are called.
Author: Larry Hurrle, IT Magazine Editor