Since 2017, the ELD mandate has been in effect. In December 2017 fleet owner’s with Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) installed were given an extension to make the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs up until December 2019. With the new year in full swing the December 16, 2019 expiration date is quickly approaching.
At the 2019 Omnitracs annual user conference, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Ray Martinez, urged drivers and company representatives to “prepare for this transition, if you have not done so already.”
The most strategic way to avoid procrastination when choosing an ELD is being in the know of what major differences stand between AOBRDs and ELDs.
Key Differences Between AOBRDs and ELDs
For many in the transportation business, the most proposed question that has been asked is, “why?”. The main reason behind the switch is to ensure companies are following the hours-of-service (HOS) law, which controls how much a driver can work in a day, aimed at preventing accidents and harassment of drivers. If someone has yet to make the switch from an AOBRD to a compliant ELD and are waiting to the last minute, the following differences in the two devices may be incentives to make the switch earlier.
Recording Metrics: AOBRDs does a lot of basic recording such as; location, date and time, mileage, engine hours and drive times, as well as duty status. ELDs record the same metrics plus information on the driver/user, motor carrier and vehicle including; log in and log out, engine on and off and also malfunctions.
Locations: When it comes to location AOBRDs allows users to record the change of location during each change of duty status and can be entered manually. With ELDs the location is automatically recorded every 60 minutes, whenever the engine is on or off when there is a change in duty status at the beginning and end of yard moves.
Edit History: AOBRDs record who makes edits and when and does not readily display edit history. ELDs require annotations when edits are made, with automatic events they can not be changed – only annotated and it readily displays edit history to DOT inspectors.
Driving Time: The driving time can only be edited when attributed to the wrong driver with AOBRDs and with ELDs that time cannot be edited.
Benefits of Making the Switch
The most recognizable benefit of the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs is compliance, but outside of ensuring that the trucking industry steers clear of harassment complaints the FMCSA wants to make the job of transporters a lot easier.
Low IFTA Audit Risk
The new ELD technology is driver-friendly when it comes to automatically calculating IFTA reports. The process of filing IFTA reports at the end of each quarter can be burdensome, and the overload of stress can cause human error. With this feature, the risk of facing an IFTA audit is reduced significantly.
By notifying drivers and management of malfunction issues and even identifying unsafe driving behaviors, ELDs do a great job at protecting all drivers on the road. According to FMCSA, ELDs help prevents roughly 562 injuries each year.
Lower Insurance Rates
Because of the increase in safety ELDs provide, insurance companies are happy to offer lower insurance premiums to ELD users. By ensuring drivers stick to HOS regulations ELDs are eliminating the main cause of driver fatigue, which is reported to be at fault for 86% of truck-passenger crashes.
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