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Downloading and analyzing ECM data requires specialized knowledge and equipment.

Sample report from an ECM download.

ECM Downloads and Data Analysis

Engine Control Modules (ECM), often called black boxes, can be found in virtually all modern heavy trucks. Accident reconstructionists use the information contained in the ECM as an objective source of information as to how the vehicle was performing at the time of the crash and to support or refute driver testimony.

Commercial vehicle ECMs contain four types of data:


Each category of data provides different information that can be useful in driver monitoring, vehicle maintenance and repair, and crash investigation. The quantity of data and the manner of data extraction varies among engine manufacturers. Ruhl Forensic staff are knowledgeable in the safe extraction of ECM data and its analysis.

While the ECM data can provide valuable information during a crash investigation, it is only one part of a complete reconstruction. The data must be analyzed correctly and in conjunction with the physical evidence to produce accurate and reliable results. Relying completely on ECM data only can often lead to incorrect or unreliable conclusions.