New FMCSA Guidance on AOBRDs

On Friday, March 9, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provided an answer in response to requests to extend or exempt certain fleets as it relates to the ELD Mandate grandfather clause.

Essentially, it says carriers can continue to buy and use AOBRDs as long as the AOBRDs were deployed in the fleet prior to December 18, 2017, and those devices are also registered as ELD-compliant — until December 16, 2019.

Further clarification is as follows:

  • Fleets can repair an AOBRD as long as the device is registered as an ELD.
  • Fleets can add new vehicles with AOBRDs as long as the device is registered as an ELD with the FMCSA.
  • AOBRD devices that are not registered as an ELD can only be used when replacing a vehicle. They cannot be used in net-new vehicles within your fleet, nor can they be used to replace a broken or malfunctioning device.
  • Fleets can also migrate from one AOBRD to another as long as the new device is registered as an ELD.
  • Carriers will have more time to migrate their vehicles to comply with ELD regulations as long as they are using devices that are certified as ELDs. All ELD migration will need to be completed by December 16, 2019

This clarification may be surprising to some, but carriers working with ELD providers that utilize a “smart” or “enhanced” AOBRD functionality will be well equipped to adapt to this change.

A “smart AOBRD,” offers some of the function and feel of an ELD, allowing drivers to begin putting their training to use, but still permitting back office edits and corrections of driver logs in case of issues. This transitional step can provide a few key benefits. Drivers are able to experience new functionalities and can give feedback to shape and refine internal procedures prior to ELD deployment. Also, AOBRD log data can flow seamlessly to an ELD device, making it possible to transition drivers midway through an eight-day log cycle with no data loss.

To learn more about navigating the ELD Mandate grandfather clause, including how a leading carrier uses “smart AOBRD” functionality, view this on-demand webinar from Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT).