Author: Justin Schmid

Content Marketing Specialist


The final deadline for implementing Electronic Logging Devices is approaching. Along with it, we’re also seeing questions about AOBRD versus ELD solutions. That’s no surprise, considering that the highly regulated trucking business is often a big serving of technical terms and acronyms.

Let’s make sense of the AOBRD (automatic onboard recording device) versus ELD (Electronic Logging Device) question and offer some insights about what to expect with the upcoming deadline.

Don’t They Do the Same Thing?

If you want to get technical, an ELD really is a type of AOBRD. While that’s also true of an Electronic On-Board Recorder, that’s not a term we hear very often.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has resources that explore the technical specifics. In a nutshell, ELDs have more capabilities and are more automated than AOBRDs. For example, AOBRDs record miles driven, date and time, speed and engine use. And ELDs add to the capabilities with data such as total engine hours, location, engine power, and vehicle motion.

Also, ELDs transfer data automatically and can handle more self-diagnostics.

ELD Puts Drivers in Control

There’s another aspect to the AOBRD versus ELD conversation: ELDs are built with the intent of giving drivers more control over their logs. They’ll be able to correct information as-needed to ensure the most accurate tracking.

The videos below dives into ELD functionality. ELD expert John Gaither breaks the issue down so that organizations, drivers and fleet managers can understand why AOBRDs are making way for new technology.

AOBRDs Versus ELDs: Your Questions Answered

As our ELD expert, John Gaither has fielded just about every ELD-related question. In these videos, he’ll answer some of the most-common questions – starting with John’s Top 3 tips for transitioning to ELDs.

Next, John discusses some of the real differences between AOBRDs and ELDs. 

The final video offers John’s thoughts about what he’s learned from helping organizations meet the previous ELD deadline.

Most Companies and Drivers are Already Onboard

According to surveys by Overdrive and Commercial Carrier Journal, 30% of respondents are still using legacy AOBRDs. About 11% percent of those are in transition and using both.

That leaves a major portion of the industry moving inexorably toward Dec. 17, 2019. And the longer they wait, the greater the odds of a bumpy transition. They’ll have to cram installation and training into a shorter timeframe, which may also stretch the resources of device providers.

If you want to avoid the last-minute rush in switching to ELDs and are curious about how our ELD solution differs from the rest of the market, please visit our HOS/ELD page to see how we can help.


Engage your fleet with GPS Insight.

Engage your fleet with GPS Insight.