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AOBRD vs ELD — What is the difference?

ELDs and automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) are different types of devices. As of December 16, 2019, AOBRDs are no longer considered record of duty status (RODS) compliant. The ELD mandate requires all non-exempt drivers to install compliant FMCSA-registered ELDs.

What is an AOBRD?

An automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) is an older style ELD that complied with 49 CFR 395.15. It’s a device that connects to a vehicle’s engine and records a driver’s Hours of Service (HOS). Though it includes some of the same functions as an ELD, it doesn’t meet the same requirements that are specified in the ELD mandate.

What’s the difference between ELD and AOBRD?

In general, ELDs are more restrictive, but much more robust than AOBRDs. For example, driving time can’t be changed by the driver using an ELD, or the fleet manager, except under some unique circumstances.

ELDs may warn drivers about various issues such as unassigned drive time and miles that are recorded by the device and when they log into the ELD. This is because all vehicle miles need to be accounted for, and ELDs help ensure this happens and that driver logs are accurate.

When it comes to how the device needs to comply with various driving events and situations, the rules surrounding ELDs are more detailed than AOBRDs. To illustrate a big difference, ELDs automatically switch a driver’s duty status to “On-Duty, Not Driving” when the vehicle isn’t in motion for more than six consecutive minutes. AOBRDs, on the other hand, don’t do this and aren’t required to change a driver’s duty status when the vehicle isn’t moving.