When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) first release the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, trucking companies sat up and took notice. It signaled a massive shift away from paper records of duty status (RODS) to electronic record keeping. While safety regulations remained the same, ELDs faced a great deal of scrutiny and resistance.

Initially exempt, automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) are running out of road before they need to comply with the ELD mandate as well. FMCSA allowed a grandfather clause for AOBRD users, but the extension ends December 16, 2019. While short-haul drivers, certain farm vehicles, and a few other exemptions can forego using ELDs, fleets with AOBRDs will need to upgrade soon to remain compliant.

Problems with Retiring AOBRDs

The biggest concern regarding AOBRD users is that they will wait until the final hour to adopt ELDs. As non-AOBRD users discovered back in 2017 when the ELD mandate first rolled out, waiting too long can cause an availability crunch as well as a difficult learning curve.

In addition, many fleets discovered their devices weren’t compliant after the fact due to rushing the process. While this transition will likely run smoother than the first round of ELDs, there are still millions of devices that need updating or replacing.

Another issue complicating ELDs is a shorter lifespan than originally anticipated. When the first generation of ELDs hit the market, drivers were promised good longevity for their devices. However, since then, 5G networks have rendered 3G networks all but obsolete. With plans to sunset these inferior networks, fleets will need to make sure their devices will function on a 5G network.

Fleets using AOBRDs or outmoded ELDs should look for a device that meets FMCSA’s requirements as well as makes drivers’ lives easier. Numerous low-quality devices on the market technically fit the bill but are a nightmare to use. DriverCheck worked alongside truck drivers to develop our ELD solution to ensure it checks all of FMCSA’s boxes while being simple to use. Contact us to learn more.