Grandfathered AOBRDs nearing their Retirement Date: From AOBRDs to ELDs


Following a near 7-year process, we are just months away from the mandated grandfather date for AOBRD users to switch to a compliant ELD solution. In this article, we’ll talk about the key points of this migration and what to pay attention to, but before we get to that, let’s take a step back and recap how we got here.

ELD Electronic Logbooks Titan GPS

The ELD Mandate in the United States was signed under the MAP-21 law mid-2012, and the approved ELD rules were published in December 2015 to be enforced by December 2017. Of course, a regulatory change of this scale required a grace period for companies that were already using AOBRD’s and this was where the grandfather clause entered the picture.

Businesses with commercial vehicles that had installed an AOBRD prior to December 2017 were given 2 years to migrate to an ELD solution, with a deadline of December 16, 2019. If you’re still using AOBRDs under the ELD mandate‘s grandfather clause, it’s time to start thinking about implementing a new ELD solution.

While the future of ELD’s and AOBRD’s in Canada is still a bit of a question mark, the value of a modern logging device is undisputable in both safety and good business practice. Existing AOBRD tech is tied to out-of-date, bulky and mostly unresponsive console devices while ELD software operates on almost any modern device like smartphones, tablets and even some e-readers. Apart from the convenience of it, the electronic logging device rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording. In addition to the convenience of the system, ELD’s provide a safer work environment for drivers and the public at large, as the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says: “Driver fatigue is recognized as a critical risk factor associated with motor vehicle crashes, accounting for 15-20% of accidents in transportation.” No one would argue that 20% is a serious number, especially when the topic is human lives.

Now that we’ve covered the past and the present benefits of ELD usage, the big question follows: “How to choose the right ELD solution that fits your fleet’s needs?

ELD Tablet

Luckily, there’s not a significant choice required in terms of the technology, as the mandate makes this very clear. You need to have a system that is compliant under the mandated regulations, period. At this point, the choice then primarily comes down to choosing the right partner with which to work. Acquiring an ELD solution from a full-service fleet management system provider with features like GPS tracking, driver ID, driver behavior, maintenance tracking and more are proven to be a more affordable and efficient strategy. There is also the significant benefit of reducing the clutter of multiple logins, points of contact, and systems to reduce costs and save time.

Another factor you’ll need to keep in mind is the training and support provided. Whether you’re switching from an AOBRD or you’re getting into a digital solution for the first time, changing the habits of your drivers and staff can be a challenging task. While most ELD providers offer initial training, you will want to work with a partner that has your back in the long run. Otherwise adding a new driver to your team years down the road or keeping up-to-date with the developments on the system may become more challenging than it should be.

Titan GPS offers a top-notch FMCSA certified ELD solution with features like compliant and error-free driver logs, pre & post trip DVIR’s, and easy to learn & use user interfaces. If you have more questions about the AOBRD grandfather clause and  ELD migration, Titan GPS is here for you. Call us toll-free at 1-855-287-4477 or send us a message. Whatever your plans or challenges are, let’s talk!