Tomorrow is the first day of October, meaning fleets have just over two months to make the final switch from AOBRDs to ELDs before they risk earning citations and fines. Though the FMCSA announced the December 16, 2019 deadline back in 2015, many fleets have continued to delay their switch. As the days count down, however, there is little — if any — time left to wait.
AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recording Devices) were first legalized in 1988, giving trucks an early way to track hours of service electronically. When the ELD Mandate first came into effect, these fleets were given extra time to become compliant. Rather than fully enforcing the December 18, 2017 deadline, the FMCSA gave fleets with AOBRDs an additional two years to add ELDs to their trucks.
Now, this extra time is almost up and it’s time for fleets to act before it’s too late. If your fleet is still operating with AOBRDs, use the tips below to prepare for the upcoming AOBRD to ELD switch.
1. Check with your device provider
If you don’t know which devices are in your vehicles, contact your vendor to clarify. If you are using AOBRDs, ask about the transition process. Some devices can be easily switched through over-the-air (OTA) transmissions, but others require additional hardware or new devices entirely. The closer we get to the deadline, the more work your provider will have, so make this step a priority.
2. Make a solid plan
The transition process may not take very long, depending on your devices, but they will likely put your vehicles out of service during the switch. For OTA updates, you’ll need to keep your vehicles in an area with strong reception until the transmission is complete. If you need new hardware, you’ll have to make each vehicle available to the technicians until they’re updated. Your schedules and jobs will need to be carefully planned to work around these limitations during the transition. If you don’t prepare for these inconveniences, you can soon find yourself in trouble.
3. Train your staff
ELD Mandate compliance requires working devices, but it also demands proficiency from all of your drivers. As you introduce ELDs to your fleet, it’s important to hold training sessions to give your drivers the knowledge and experience they need to pass inspections. With the stresses involved in the AOBRD to ELD transition, the last thing you need is to receive citations for poor driver performance.
Have you transitioned your AOBRD devices? Share your tips and advice below!