AOBRDs phased out beginning Dec. 16

December 2019/January 2020

Mark Schremmer


Truckers using automatic on-board recording devices to record their hours of service must switch over to an electronic logging device.

When the ELD mandate went into effect in December 2017, motor carriers using AOBRDs before the final rule’s effective date were grandfathered in for two years. As of Dec. 16, motor carriers who were using an AOBRD must have a regulation-compliant ELD.

AOBRDs served as a simpler version of an ELD. The technical specifications for an AOBRD were less stringent.

According to FMCSA, a grandfathered AOBRD is a device that a motor carrier installed and required its drivers to use before the ELD compliance date of Dec. 18, 2017.

Many of the trucks currently equipped with AOBRDs are from large fleets that required their drivers to use a device to record the hours of service before the ELD mandate went into effect. However, some small carriers and owner-operators also had their trucks equipped with older devices.

“If you had an AOBRD before 2017, you were allowed two extra years before you had to update to an ELD,” Jill Thorne, of OOIDA’s Business Services Department, told Land Line Now. “That two years is now expiring.”

FMCSA is not expected to extend the deadline for motor carriers to use the legacy devices.

Older trucks still exempt

While AOBRDs will no longer be allowed in lieu of ELDs, Thorne reminded truckers that this will not affect the exemption for trucks with engines predating the 2000s. Those trucks will still not be required to install an ELD or even have to have an AOBRD.

“The wiring and computer systems (for trucks predating 2000) aren’t as sophisticated,” Thorne said. “They can’t handle an ELD.”

However, all trucks with an engine model 2000 or newer will be required to have an ELD beginning Dec. 16. LL

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.