Carriers running old telematics devices risk fines on the highway

Many carriers delayed the transition to electronic logging devices (ELDs) under the automatic onboard logging device (AOBRD) grandfather clause. That clause expired earlier this week, and those carriers must now be running ELDs to avoid fines on the highway. 

About 2% of surveyed carriers reported holding onto their AOBRDs throughout November and into early December. Most of the holdouts, however, appear to have made the switch ahead of the hard deadline. 

FreightWaves, in partnership with CarrierLists and EROAD, surveys a new group of carriers about their devices. In this week’s survey, no surveyed surveyed carriers reported using AOBRDs. Of the 166 carriers surveyed, all 166 were ELD compliant. 

When combined with results from the last two weeks to form a three-week moving average, the number of carriers still running AOBRDs comes out to about 0.6%. 

Many of the last minute holdouts were likely using telematics devices that could be switched from “AOBRD mode” to “ELD mode” at the push of a button. While making this transition still requires training drivers and back office staff about the differences between AOBRDs and ELDs, it is far less time-consuming that installs all new devices in a fleet of trucks. A handful of carriers, especially those with the fewest trucks, likely made that change on deadline day or the day before, allowing them to run AOBRDs as long as possible. 

In the past, there has been a significant compliance gap between nationwide and super-regional carriers and their regional peers. Regional carriers, which tend to have fewer drivers, have historically trailed several percentage points behind other fleets in ELD compliance. That gap has closed over the past two weeks, suggesting these carriers were waiting until the last possible moment to switch. 

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) confirmed that the ELD mandate is now in full effect. There will not be a soft enforcement or grace period for noncompliant carriers.

While the research suggests that almost all carriers have made the switch to ELDs at this point, there are expected to be a few stragglers who are either unaware that they need to change their devices or have chosen not to make the change.

Any carrier still running AOBRDs is running the risk of hefty fines and being placed out of service during highway inspections. Working with a telematics provider to make the change now is the safest way to avoid those consequences. 

EROAD’s guide “Planning your move from AOBRD to ELD” gives eight key considerations and six critical questions to help select the right solution to achieve the easiest transition possible.

Visit the AOBRD to ELD resource center to download the guide.