AOBRDs VS ELDs – Why This Matters

February 27, 2019 Comments: 0

AOBRDs are defined as Automatic On-Board Recording Devices that are governed by regulations originally passed into law in 1988.

Many carriers preferred AOBRDs due to their ease of use, less restrictive regulation, and flexibility for correcting mistakes, in comparison to ELDs.

ELDs are governed by the new law passed effective as of Dec 17th 2017, with the ELD Final Ruling being over 100 pages long. So what are the advantages of AOBRDs vs ELDs, and how can you benefit from these devices, even after Dec 17th 2017?


  • Can go into driving mode at custom miles per hours.
  • Allow for logbooks to be emailed.
  • Allow for corrections to mistakes or malfunctions.
  • Much easier for new drivers to understand.


  • Have to go into driving mode by law, at 5 MPH.
  • Have to be downloaded via DOT Output file (Programming computer code).
  • Do not allow for corrections, but do allow for “Annotations”.
  • Much harder for new drivers to understand.
  • Do not require anything from vehicle manufacturers.

According to clarifications from the FMCSA, if a carrier required (Purchased, and installed) at least one compliant, dual ELD/ AOBRD device prior to Dec 17th 2017, that carrier could buy new trucks, hire new drivers to drive those trucks, and use the dual ELD / AOBRDs in those new units, even after Dec 17th 2017. This is to avoid confusion in terms of paperwork, safety enforcement for the carrier, and for law enforcement officials.

Futhermore, the FMCSA also allows carriers to change AOBRD / ELD vendors, due to a lot of vendors being unprepared, or misrepresenting, the capabilities of their devices and services.

If you have any questions about AOBRDs, ELDs, and how they can impact your carrier operations, feel free to call MasterELD at 630-422-7497!

Source: FMCSA

Source: FMCSA

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