Facing December Deadline to Phase Out AOBRDs

- Unlike the initial implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in December 2017 and beginning of full enforcement in April 2018, there has not been nearly as much attention paid to the upcoming Dec. 16 deadline to permanently phase out older generation automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs).

Short haul drivers and others exempt from federal rules will not be required to use any electronic device to track hours of service (HOS). For all others, only ELDs can be used after the mid-December deadline.

ELD manufacturers told Fleet Owner that besides the need to retire AOBRDs, some fleets are discovering that what they thought was a verified device is not actually compliant. Others are realizing their ELDs may not have as long a lifespan as promised due to the planned sunsetting of 3G networks.

Earlier this year, Ray Martinez, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), expressed concern that the bulk of AOBRD users might wait until the final few months to make the change. During 2017, late ELD adoption created a capacity crunch for devices and installation.

Suppliers do not expect this transition to be quite as difficult, but some estimates still suggest two million devices need to be upgraded or replaced.

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