March 10, 2011 11:30 AM, EST
FMCSA to Pay for EOBRs on Mexican Trucks
Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will require all Mexican trucks entering the United States to be equipped with electronic onboard recorders — and will pay for them, a Department of Transportation official said Wednesday.

The move was in part to quell concerns over Mexican drivers’ hours of service and FMCSA would own and control all data gathered by the EOBRs used by the carriers, said the DOT official, who asked not to be identified.

The mandate for EOBRs, which must be equipped with global positioning system capabilities, would be part of the cross-border trucking agreement reached last week between the United States and Mexico.

News that the agency would pay for EOBRs on Mexican trucks comes only weeks after FMCSA announced a proposed rule that would require U.S. carriers to install EOBRs on their trucks, at their own expense.

Under the agreement, Mexico would drop $2.4 billion in retaliatory tariffs it has imposed on U.S. products. Except for an 18-month pilot program that was ended by Congress in early 2009, most trucks from each country have not been allowed to deliver beyond an approximately 20-mile border zone.

John Hill, who was FMCSA’s administrator during the cross-border pilot program, told Transport Topics Wednesday that FMCSA paid for global positioning systems to be installed on all Mexican trucks that had participated in the previous pilot project.