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Both automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) and electronic logging devices (ELDs) are devices that plug into a vehicle and record data. The device talks to a smart phone or tablet either through or wire or wirelessly. Because of their similarities it is hard to figure out which you have. AOBRDs had to be installed before December 18th, 2017, after that all devices had to meet ELD requirements. Vehicles with AOBRDs must switch over to ELDs before December 16th, 2019. The difference between AOBRDs and ELDs is how much data they record and display and your ability to edit that data.

Below is a chart of technical differences between ELDs and AOBRDs.

Technical Differences

ELDAOBRD
Recorded DataDate and timeDate and time
Engine hoursEngine hours
Vehicle milesVehicle miles
LocationsLocations
Duty statusDuty status
Logging in and out events
Engine turning on and off
Malfunctions
Location RecordedChange in duty statusChange in duty status
60 minute intervals while drivingCan be entered manually
Engine turning on and off
At the start and end of yard moves and personal conveyance.
Accuracy:
Within 1 mile when “Driving”
Within 10 miles when in “Personal conveyance” (PC)
Edit HistoryRecords who made an edit and whenRecords who made an edit and when
All edits require an annotationDoes not readily display edit history
Automatically recorded events cannot be changed, only annotated
Readily displays edit history to DOT inspectors
Driving TimeCannot be editedCan only be edited when attributed to the wrong driver

If you are currently using an AOBRD or are used to paper logs below is a chart of what it is like for a Carrier and Driver to use an ELD.

User Experience with an ELD

CarrierDriver
AccountCarrier and Driver accounts must be unique, including different email addresses.
Profile DetailsELD must display Driver’s CDL information, VIN, and Carrier’s DOT Number.
Editing LogsCarriers can edit Driver’s logs, but they must be annotated and accepted by the Driver. Carriers cannot edit drive time.Drivers can edit their records for any day within the current cycle. Each edit must have an annotation. Drivers can accept or reject Carrier’s edits. Drivers cannot edit drive time.
Log CertificationDrivers must certify their log after each 24-hour cycle is finalized.
Graph Grid DisplayCarriers can display a daily summary, traditional graph grid, and detailed log events to safety officers.Drivers can display a graph grid of their daily RODs (Records of Duty Status) to inspectors.
Unassigned Driving Time and MileageThe ELD will automatically record time and mileage while the vehicle is in motion and no Driver is connected. Drivers that connect to the vehicle can download these unassigned records.When Drivers are logged into the application, they will be presented with the unassigned driving time and mileage for review. The Driver will be asked to accept or reject the unidentified records and add an annotation.
Yard Moves (YM)Carriers will assign Yard Moves to individual Drivers through the Driver’s profile on the fleet dashboard.Drivers permitted to use Yard Moves can do so by selecting On Duty Yard Move under Duty Status in the application.
Personal Conveyance (PC)Carriers will assign Personal Conveyance to individual Drivers through the Driver’s profile. PC is not an editable event by the driver.Drivers permitted to use the vehicle for personal use can do so by selecting Off Duty Personal Conveyance under Duty Status in the application.
Data Diagnostics and Malfunction InformationData diagnostic and malfunction indicators are viewable in the ELD inspection reports.
Actions for Device MalfunctionCorrect, repair, replace, or service the malfunctioning ELD within eight days of discovering the condition.Provide written notice to the Carrier within 24 hours. Use paper logs during the malfunction time and reconstruct RODS for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days unless they can retrieve from the ELD.
User DocumentationDrivers are required to carry an ELD User Guide, Malfunction Instructions, Roadside Inspection Card, and an eight day supply of blank driver ROD’s.
Volume ControlVolume control or mute option for any audio feature.
Tampering ResistanceTampering is prevented by not allowing anyone to alter or erase information originally collected for Driver ELD records.