Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.


News & Analysis

Publication Details

Transportation Brief: AOBRD v. ELD

by Jerad T. Childress

December 4, 2017


Fleets using AOBRDs prior to the ELD compliance date may continue using AOBRDs until December 16, 2019. Thereafter, any trucks added to a fleet must be outfitted with a compliant ELD, unless a truck that was operating with an AOBRD is retired from the fleet. In this instance, the retired truck’s AOBRD may be used on the replacement truck. There are a number of added requirements (or benefits) associated with outfitting a fleet with ELDs versus AOBRDs.

Both devices must record data pulled from the vehicle’s engine control module (ECM), but an AOBRD records less data. ELDs automatically capture engine power status, vehicle motion status, miles driven, and engine hours while an AOBRD only requires “integral synchronization”
or a connection to the ECM.

In addition to differences in the mandatory electronic data transfer capabilities, another key distinction when comparing ELDs and AOBRDs is the manner in which unassigned drive time is handled. ELDs must account for all drive time and warn drivers about unassigned drive time and miles recorded when logging into the device. AOBRDs, on the other hand, are not required to prompt drivers about unassigned drive time. Motor carriers should take great care to ensure unassigned drive time is not allowed to remain on devices because roadside enforcement will likely require an explanation for each instance of unassigned drive time.

With the additional data captured by ELDs, fleets can better track and plan loads and monitor driver safety compliance efforts in accordance with the regulations. However, this additional data requires greater diligence on the part of motor carriers because it may expose more detail of possible violations during an onsite or roadside investigation.

Scopelitis’ Transportation Brief® is intended as a report to our clients and friends on developments affecting the transportation industry. The published material does not constitute an exhaustive legal study and should not be regarded or relied upon as individual legal advice or opinion.


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