AOBRDs, EOBRs, and ELDs – Which is Right for You?

truck interior

If you’ve worked in the trucking industry – as a driver, owner, or fleet manager, for any length of time, you’ve heard plenty of acronyms thrown around. Are your HOS accurate for your RODS? Did you get your IFTA done?

Now, do you know the difference between an AOBRD, EOBR, and ELD? And, most importantly, do you know which one is best and required for your business and drivers?

Understanding AOBRDs, EOBRs, and ELDs

Depending on how long you’ve been in the business, you may have heard of one or all of these.

AOBRD – Automatic On-Board Recording Device – has been around since 1988 and is still a part of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) current regulations.

EOBR – Electronic On-Board Recorder – became common in the early 2000s and was a technical term for the FMCSA regulations until those were vacated in 2012 and replaced with ELD.

ELD – Electronic Logging Device – is the newest official term and was created by the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) bill passed by Congress where they mandated that the FMCSA create new rules for ELDs and their use by drivers and companies.

Use any term and acronym you want, but remember one thing. Whatever you’re using must comply with current FMCSA regulations.

What are the FMCSA Regulations for AOBRDs, EOBRs, and ELDs?

In December 2015, the FMCSA released their “Final Rule” regarding the adoption of ELDs by drivers and companies. It outlined several requirements.

  • Companies and drivers using AOBRDs and EOBRs prior to the ruling have until 2019 to switch to newer ELDs.
  • Companies and drivers not using AOBRDs or EOBRs have until 2017 to comply and switch to an ELD system.
  • ELDs must be able to connect to a truck’s engine to record whether it’s in motion or not.
  • Drivers must have the ability to log-on and select if they’re on-duty, off-duty, or on-duty but not driving.
  • The Record of Duty Status (RODS) must be easily visible and readable at a glance for drivers.
  • Smartphone and tablets may be used as part of an ELD system as long as they comply with all FMCSA regulations.

The bottom-line is simple. Call your system what you want – AOBRD, EOBR, ELD, XYZ – but make sure it follows the requirements set by FMCSA.

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