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ELD vs AOBRD What You Need to Know

ELD vs AOBRD: What You Need to Know

As of December 16, 2019, all carriers and drivers subject to the ELD rule must switch over to ELDs away from AOBRDs. This is because ELDs provide better tracking and are often more robust. Read this helpful guide for a full breakdown between the two and how you can make the transition to ELDs if need be. ELD vs AOBRD doesn’t have to be complicated.

ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Definition and Functionality

An Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a technology that automatically records a driver’s driving time and other aspects of the HOS records. ELDs synchronize with a vehicle’s engine to capture power status, motion status, miles driven, and engine hours.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


  • Accuracy: ELDs provide more accurate HOS tracking than manual logbooks and AOBRDs, reducing the risk of HOS violations.
  • Efficiency: ELDs automate the logging process, saving drivers time and reducing paperwork.
  • Insights: The data collected by ELDs can be used to gain insights into fleet operations and driver behavior, which can help improve efficiency and safety.
  • Compliance: FMCSA requires that all carrier vehicles that fall under their guidelines must use an ELD device.


  • Cost: ELDs can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Privacy Concerns: Some drivers and fleet operators have raised concerns about the level of surveillance provided by ELDs vs AOBRD.

AOBRD (Automatic On-Board Recording Device) Definition and Functionality

An Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) is an older type of technology that records a driver's duty status information, similar to an ELD. However, AOBRDs do not synchronize with the vehicle's engine and do not automatically record as much information as ELDs. For instance, managers have set a minimum speed for the device to start, rather than have the device start no matter the speed.

Advantages and Disadvantages:


  • Simplicity: AOBRDs are generally simpler to use than ELDs, with fewer required data elements and less detailed tracking.
  • Cost: AOBRDs can be less expensive than ELDs, both in terms of initial purchase and ongoing costs. However, ELD vs AOBRD isn't accurate when it comes to cost because there are fines to worry about if you don't meet compliance.


  • Less Accuracy: AOBRDs do not provide as accurate or as detailed tracking as ELDs.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The FMCSA has mandated the use of ELDs, making AOBRDs non-compliant in most cases.

Differences Between ELDs vs AOBRD

While ELDs and AOBRDs serve similar purposes, there are several key differences between these devices:
  • Data Recording: ELDs record more data than AOBRDs, including detailed information about engine power status, vehicle motion status, and miles driven.
  • Data Editing: Unlike AOBRDs, ELDs require both drivers and fleet managers to approve any edits to the recorded data, ensuring greater accuracy and accountability.
  • Connectivity: ELDs are often equipped with connectivity options like GPS tracking and telematics, offering additional features for fleet management.
  • Compliance: ELDs are now required under federal law. AOBRDs have been phased out and will continue to be phased out.

How to Track Company Vehicles Like A Pro

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Transition from AOBRD to ELD

Because of the new rule set by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, many companies have made the transition ELDs. New companies just starting out are also looking to implement ELDs into their fleets. Here are some tips to using ELDs in your fleet:

  • Assess Your Current System: Take stock of the systems or software you already have in place. Most of the time, there will be an option to integrate these new devices. That way you don't have to buy new software.
  • Choose the Right ELD Solution: If you are buying new ELDs, not all are created equal. Some offer features like real-time tracking and advanced reporting tools, while others are more basic. Consider your fleet's specific needs when selecting an ELD provider.
  • Train Your Team: Implementing new technology can be challenging, especially for drivers who are used to a certain way of doing things. Provide comprehensive training to ensure that everyone understands how to use the ELD correctly.
  • Maintain Compliance: Make sure you understand the regulations around ELD use and maintain compliance. This could include regular audits of your ELD data.
  • Leverage the Data: ELDs can provide valuable data about your fleet's operations. Use this information to identify areas where you can increase efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Keep Open Lines of Communication: Regularly check in with your drivers to see how they're adjusting to the ELD. Encourage them to share their feedback and address any issues promptly.

Need an ELD Provider?

Now you know ELD vs AOBRD, are you looking for an ELD provider that can also help you with GPS fleet software? Don't worry, 360Connect can you find the perfect match. Just fill out our 1–2-minute form and we'll contact you to verify your information. From there, you'll receive up to 5 quotes 100% for free! It's that easy!

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