AOBRD vs ELD: Does the New ELD Grandfathering Extension Apply to Your Trucks?


The 2018 buzzword is ELD for automated device compliance. But in 2014 it was AOBRD, or Automatic On Board Recording Device. That was the device type mandated under older FMCSA regulations, and it had far different capabilities and requirements than ELDs today or then. But why do AOBRDs still matter today?

There is more ELD-related grandfathering.

The December 17, 2017 deadline was a partial one, even though it impacted the whole of the trucking industry. Most carrier and independent owner-operators had to have a compliant ELD installed and operational in their trucks. There were some exceptions for trucks in the agricultural sector. The logistics behind busy seasons and seasonal constraints made the association decide to extend the deadline for qualified truckers. They had until March 31, 2018, to become compliant.

But there still remains an exception to the rule, and it’s centered around AOBRD systems. If your trucks have AOBRD software that’s considered ELD-capable, then you don’t have to make the expensive switch to comparable devices. But this is only true if the system was installed before December 18, 2017. And this grandfathering exception only extends until December 15, 2019.

Why is this good news?

If you installed AOBRDs before the deadline was reached, that was already an expensive conversion. You had to drain drivers and employers to operate the devices and read the data, to say nothing of the cost of the devices themselves. The FMCSA seems to be acknowledging that past investment.

The extended deadline also helps your company avoid the peak costs of another conversion now. ELD technology, for all that it has been widely prescribed, is still expensive and new. By the time 2019 is drawing to a close, the prices on compliant models and maintenance will have leveled out.

What’s the risk?

You have to prove that you had your AOBRD system before December 18, 2017. Otherwise, inspectors might think you installed the alternative system after the deadline to take advantage of the grandfathering decision. So industry experts like Trucking Info are recommending that all of your drivers carry a record of December 2017 data to prove that the device was both in place and operational in time.

Carrying the right records and proof to pass inspections doesn’t just make the process faster so you can be back on your way. It keeps driving records clean and your insurance rates low. Go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC. to see what other paperwork and preventative administration can help get you the right insurance rates for your company. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.

David Ott

David Ott