The Difference Between ELD and AOBRD

*Important Note*

The AOBRD Deadline is FAST APPROACHING  – the deadline to transition over to ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) is Dec. 16, 2019 – but the time to act is now! Talk to us about an ELD solution

What is AOBRD?

AOBRD, or Automatic On-Board Recording Device, is essentially an earlier version of the modern ELD. Both solutions need to be plugged into the vehicle’s ECM port and automatically record HoS data. The main difference is that AOBRD’s record and display much less data compared to ELD’s.

Are AOBRD's Allowed Under the ELD Mandate?

Yes. AOBRD’s have been grandfathered by the ELD mandate until December 2019. This means that fleets already using them can continue to do so until December 16th, 2019, at which point they will need to transition to ELD’s. 


What is the AOBRD grandfather clause & AOBRD rule exception?

The two-year period that we’re in now, Phase 3, focuses on ELD implementation but also allows an exception for AOBRDs that were installed prior to December 18, 2017. With the influx in vendors providing ELD solutions following the passing of the mandate, there’s been much more focus on ELD implementation vs AOBRDs and less information about where the difference lies.

What is the Difference Between AOBRD & ELD?

The primary difference between ELDs and AOBRDs, is that ELDs track more information more accurately. For example, an ELD can identify information on a driver’s change in duty status, logging in and out, location information, and ECM data such as engine power status, vehicle motion, and system malfunctions.

Additionally, there are differences in edit history capabilities, where ELDs have a greater level of accuracy and HOS compliance. ELDs readily display log edit history—for review by DOT inspectors, for example— whereas AOBRDs do not. This is important when it comes to unassigned driving time.

Below is a table summing up the key difference between the two:

Unidentified DrivingRecords any unidentified driving and displays this data to the driver, fleet manager and DOT officer.Not defined
Auto-Switch to DrivingMust auto switch to driving at 5 mphNot defined
EditsAuto-generated events can not be edited. All edited entries are recorded and require annotation.Records edits, but does not readily display this
FMCSA Output FileReports to the FMCSA via web-services or emailNot defined
Are AOBRD's Allowed Under the ELD Mandate?

As stated above, Commercial vehicle drivers who use an AOBRD prior to the Dec. 18, 2017 deadline are granted a time extension but these drivers must have their AOBRD upgraded or replaced by a certified ELD by Dec. 16, 2019.

Why is now the time to transition to an ELD?

Beyond the implications for finding yourself in early 2020 in front of a DOT officer with a noncompliant system, there are very strong business-reasons to make the move to ELD sooner rather than later.

The strongest reason is that this is your chance to implement a fleet management solution, in case you don’t have one yet.

A fleet management solution such as the one we offer with features including driver behavior, engine diagnostics and live tracking, transforms data from your fleet into valuable information to help your company make and save money.

Don’t wait for the last minute to become compliant! We offer the highest-rated FMCSA and Canadian DOT compliant ELD devices & solutions. Our ELD solutions can be stand-alone ELD or a combined, total solution with fleet management including driver behavior, temperature monitoring and engine diagnostics. Take a look at our ELD product offerings below.

Take a look below at our complete selection of Plug & Play ELD Devices, all integrated With Telematics

Compatible with all major vehicle protocols- J1939/J1708 & OBDII and with a wide variety of cable options to choose from, BlueLink ELD works with just about any vehicle. BlueLink sends the GPS and ECM data via BLE to the DriverLog App running on any mobile device, DriverLog receives the data and syncs with the cloud via the mobile device’s cellular data plan.

  • Standalone ELD Compliance Solution- For fleets looking for compliance only, BlueLink plugs into the vehicle’s ECM without interfering with your existing telematics installation.
  • Plug & Play Installation- Simply plug BlueLink into the vehicle’s Jbus port via the 9-Pin, 6-Pin or OBDII (Heavy & Light Duty Cables available) and you’re all set!
  • GPS Tracking- BlueLink Integrated with DriverLog provides for a complete ELD and GPS Tracking solution without the need to install a telematics GPS unit in each vehicle (GPS is dependant on the driver running the App on his phone.)Smartphone & Tablets ELD Solution

An advanced, ELD ready telematics gateway that plugs into the vehicle’s ECM for a complete Fleet Management solution including engine diagnostics, driver behavior, temperature monitoring and more. For ELD compliance, the Piccolo BLE sends the ECM data via Bluetooth BLE and optionally via a standard USB cable to the DriverLog App running on any tablet or smartphone.

  • Provides Functionality & Reliability- Provides the functionality and reliability of a one piece fixed mount integrated on board computer for a fraction of the price.
  • Dual USB & BLE Communication- The Piccolo USB is a hybrid ELD with dual USB & BlueTooth BLE communication, allowing for full in-cabin portability and for a full communication back up in case the USB is disconnected.​
  • A Complete Fleet Management Solution- The Piccolo STX is a modular, plug & play vehicle tracking device providing fleet managers complete, real-time visibility to location, driver behavior, CAN Bus Interface, temperature monitoring and ELD Compliance.

The most advanced and economical ELD solution for fleets, enabling fleets to meet the ELD mandate without incurring additional cellular data costs by connecting via the in-cabin WiFi Hotspot.

  • In-Cabin WiFi Hotspot– DriverLog connects over WiFi to the Piccolo Plus, sending the ECM data via WIFI and uploading the HOS data to the cloud.
  • Makes ELD Affordable- Built in WiFi allows you to cut costs by paying for just ONE SIM for both Fleet Management & ELD Compliance,. In addition, save money by purchasing less expensive WiFi-Only tablets.
  • Future-Proof Fleet Management Gateway-The most innovative, most advanced GPS Telematics Gateway with an unparalleled set of features providing real-time visibility into location status, wireless sensor data, built-in WiFi Hotspot and ​ELD-ready for HOS Compliance.

ELD With WiFi Hotspot

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