Skip to content


AOBRDs vs ELDs.pngMost fleets and drivers don’t know that the use of automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) have been grandfathered under the ELD mandate. Fleets using them now can continue to use AOBRDs until December 16, 2019 before transitioning to an electronic logging device (ELD). Learn more about AOBRDs and why should fleets get them before the mandate deadline.  

What’s an AOBRD? What’s an ELD? 

An automatic onboarding recording device is a piece of hardware that connects to a vehicle’s engine to record a driver’s hours-of-service (HOS). It’s functions much like an electronic logging device (ELD) except it records and displays less data. Similar to an AOBRD, an ELD is a piece of hardware that connects to a vehicle’s ECM to accurately record a driver’s HOS.  

However, AOBRDs and ELDs differ in terms of how much data they record and how much editing is allowed. The chart below summarizes the FMCSA’s comparison chart and section 395.15 to show how the two devices record data, locations, and editing history. AOBRDVSELDChart.pngELDs Are More Restrictive Than AOBRDs
The rules surrounding ELDs are specific on how the device must handle certain events and situations. For example, electronic logging devices automatically switch a driver’s duty status to ‘On-Duty, Not Driving’ whenever their vehicle has stopped moving for 5 consecutive minutes and the driver has not responded to a prompt within 60 seconds. In contrast, AOBRDs are not required to change a driver’s duty status when the vehicle is no longer in motion. 

In addition, ELDs are required to warn drivers about any unassigned driving time and miles that the device records when they log into the ELD. Electronic logging devices require that all vehicle miles are accounted for (even if a mechanic takes the vehicle for a test drive) to ensure driver logs are accurate. As a result, ELDs are far more restrictive than AOBRDs.

Why Your Fleet Should Consider AOBRDs

AOBRDs offer limited flexibility, giving drivers and fleets an opportunity to correct mistakes on logs. AOBRDs also display less information, making those mistakes and corrections less apparenbr-eld-install-blog-179555-edited.jpgt. In contrast, ELDs will display all edits to DOT inspectors.
It goes without saying that transitioning from paper logs to ELDs will be an adjustment for drivers. That’s why we recommend that you set your drivers up for a smooth, successful transition by getting AOBRDs before December 18, 2017. Not only will your fleet qualify for the grandfather clause (giving your drivers an extra two years to use them), but you’ll also give your drivers extra time to get use to the new rules and technology.  

Smoothly Transition to ELDs with BigRoad  

Considering AOBRDs? Check out our DashLink ELD to see how your fleet can use it as an automatic onboard recording device. Plus, upgrade DashLink to an ELD with a software download when your fleet is ready to make the transition. Learn more by requesting a demo.