Webinar Recap: AOBRD or ELD- What's Right For Me-.pngWith the ELD mandate just around the corner, many customers have questions about whether they should choose an AOBRD or ELD. This webinar helped to clarify the major similarities and differences between the two devices!

Webinar Recap – Watch The Recording!

During this webinar, we covered the key differences between automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) and electronic logging devices (ELDs), the benefits of an AOBRD's extra flexibility, and the AOBRD 'grandfather' clause that allows you to take advantange of this flexibility for an additional 2 years. The purpose of this webinar was to help our customers to prepare for the upcoming ELD mandate.

Click the image below to access a recording of our AOBRD or ELD: What's Right For Me webinar that was held on June 22, 2017:

Questions & Answers

Q: Will the Big Road Mobile App be enough or will DashLink also be necessary?
A: To be compliant with the ELD mandate, you will need DashLink device paired with the BigRoad Mobile App. The BigRoad Mobile App is an electronic logbook that doesn’t have an engine connection. The ELD mandate requires an engine connected device. When you pair the BigRoad Mobile App with the DashLink (which is engine connected), you’re compliant with the mandate.

Q: If the Bluetooth connection between the Dashlink and the driver's phone stops mid-trip, how should drivers log this?
A: When you start your trip with our DashLink ELD, you have to connect your DashLink to your phone via Bluetooth. This can take a few seconds. This connection is required to have the data flow between your phone and the DashLink and allows you to see your available drive time and hours-of-service information when driving your vehicle.

If the Bluetooth connection drops out mid-trip, the app will notify you by making a noise (provided you have your push notifications turned on) and displaying a warning message that the connection has dropped. It will change you over to on-duty, not driving. Ideally, you will notice this, pull over, and take a second to re-connect. Once the Bluetooth connection is reestablished, the DashLink will push your driving information over to your phone so it’s visible to you.

As to what to do about your log if this happens: you can make a note on that on-duty status that says "unit disconnected/unit malfunction" and have your supervisor edit that event on your log at the end of the shift after it's been signed.

The bigger concern here is if you permanently drop Bluetooth connection. For example, your phone completely dies. At this point, you’d have no way of showing your hours-of-service information if you were pulled over by a DOT officer. We recommend, and it is required by the FMSCA, that you keep blank paper logs in your vehicle to track your hours if you have issues with the ELD or your device.

Information is still being recorded by DashLink and pushed to the web application, even if the Bluetooth connection is lost between the DashLink and your phone. You could print this information off the BigRoad Web App if you have access to it or contact your fleet administrator and ask them to send it to you.

Q: What’s the difference between an AOBRD and ELD?
A: This is what we covered during the webinar, so hopefully now you have a better understanding of those differences. At a high level, the AOBRD is a lot more flexible (allowing you to make edits to certain information) and collects less information. The ELD is a lot more locked down, allowing fewer edits, more information is displayed during an inspection (including edits made by the driver and fleet manager), and more information is collected. We’re going to be posting a recording of the webinar on the blog in case you missed anything!

With BigRoad, you have the ability to run DashLink as an AOBRD or an ELD. Hopefully now that you’ve watched the webinar you’ve seen the benefits of sticking with an AOBRD for as long as possible. You can run an AOBRD until December 2019, giving you 2 additional years to get used to connected logging and that extra ability to edit, until your hands are fully tied. Going with an AOBRD is really the smartest thing you can do - why make it more difficult than it needs to be right away? When you’re ready to transition to an ELD, it’s a simple software download to the DashLink device and you won’t be required to switch out any hardware at all, making it really easy for you.

Q: Are you certified with the FMCSA?
A: Yes! We have certified our DashLink ELD and and are listed on the FMCSA’s certification list.

Q: What’s the cost difference between an AOBRD and ELD?
A: At BigRoad, the cost is the same. You can run our DashLink device as an AOBRD and then update it to an ELD with a simple software update. We will not charge you more when you update the DashLink to an ELD. For a single driver, single truck, it’s $25/month. This includes the DashLink as well as access to the BigRoad Web App and BigRoad Mobile App. If you’re already using our web and mobile app, a DashLink will only cost you an additional $10/month/truck.

Q: We have a truck that is newer than year 2000, but the mechanics are 93/98, which is not electronic. How do we become ELD compliant?
A: This is a similar situation to glider kits, where the body is newer and the engine is older. Because the body falls within the ELD mandate required years, you will need to run an ELD. Many ELD providers are not currently able to support this configuration. I encourage you to take a look online and see if there’s a provider that can assist you. Feel free to reach out to our Support Team. You can email them at support@bigroad.com or give them a call at 1-888-305-8777 x1. If you send them more details about your vehicle they can let you know if the BigRoad solution can support you.

We've written a blog about ELD mandate exemptions to help you determine if you need to run an ELD or not. Take a look to see if you're exempt!

Q: How does this regulation affect telecommunications construction and maintenance as defined in 395.2. FMCSA  
A: I think you’re talking about on-duty, not driving vs. on duty driving. With an ELD, you can still select on duty, not driving time, to track hours where you’re completing other work tasks that are NOT operating your vehicle, like installing cable. You just need to select the on duty not driving option from the BigRoad mobile app on your phone.

Q: How can I use an AOBRD on my truck?
A: Give us a call to chat about our DashLink! You can reach us at 1-888-305-8777. Also, I’ll be sending out a follow up email that includes some details about how to book a demo with a BigRoad representative. Once you’ve got a DashLink, installation is super easy. You can pair the DashLink with your phone via Bluetooth in minutes and you’re good to go.

Q: What are the differences between the US and Canadian mandate?
A: As of right now, Canada has not released their version of the ELD mandate. Canadian drivers driving to the US are required to abide by US rules. So they need to have an ELD even if their home base is in Canada. The Canadian government has made a document available to stakeholders, such as BigRoad to review, which outlines some of the details of the mandate. We were supposed to see mandate details released in the spring, which hasn’t happened yet. We’ll keep you up to date on the blog and through emails as we get this information. The Canadian mandate will likely be similar to the US mandate to make it easier for drivers to use devices in both countries.

Q: I’ve heard if you have 7 trucks or less you aren’t required to have eLogs. Is this correct?
A: You will need to be running an ELD unless you qualify for an exemption. These exemptions have nothing to do with the number of trucks in your fleet. Exemptions include: if you’re not currently required to keep a record of duty status, if you’re not driving more than 8 consecutive days in a 30 day period, if the vehicle you’re driving is part of a shipment, if your vehicle is a pre-2000 model, and if you’re a local driver who only drives within a 100 air mile radius of your starting point.

A: Is it possible to have the BigRoad Mobile App made so we can use one log for the last 14 days. Right now we have to go back and sign each day for the last 14.
A: The FMCSA requires that every log be signed, because you need to verify what you did for every single day. You do have the option to ‘sign all’ within the app, but you should be signing every single day as you submit your logs.

Q: Must the ELD or AOBRD be provided by the carrier if I'm an owner-operator running for a carrier? Must it be carrier specific?
A: It’s basically a case by case basis. Some carriers will tell their owner-operators which system they need to use, some will provides the system to them, some will require owner-operators to go out and get their own solution based on what they’ve recommended, and some are letting owner-operators completely choose their own system. BigRoad is great because you can drive for different fleets if you’re leased on for different people and take your system with you. Usually, the best option for fleets is to choose one system and roll it out across the entire team for consistency. With BigRoad, you can use our system with mixed drivers - those who are just required to use the BigRoad app and those who need a DashLink.

Q: Do we plan on publishing our app to the Windows mobile store?
A: Not at the moment, but maybe down the road. Right now the BigRoad Mobile App is available for Android and Apple phones and tablets.

Q: What if you go with an AOBRD and then add an additional unit to your fleet after December 18, 2017. Can it be an AOBRD?
A: As long as you’ve purchased the AOBRD before the deadline, you can continue to use it until Decemer 16, 2019. We’ve seen people stockpile ELDs to have them on hand just in case they add a new vehicle to their fleet after the December 18, 2017 deadline. After the deadline, you can’t buy AOBRDs anymore - only ELDs.

Q: To confirm: the AOBRD can be used without DashLink untill Dec 2019?
A: DashLink is the hardware – the little black box that you install in your vehicle. Our DashLink is both an AOBRD and an ELD. We’re recommending that everyone run it as an AOBRD untill the December 18, 2017 deadline to take advancte of the extra flexibility. After December 16, 2019, you can update the DashLink with a simple software update to function as an ELD.  

Q: Can we connect a hands free Bluetooth along with DashLinK?
A: Yes. You can run Bluetooth for hands-free calling along with our DashLink. 

Q: Will you make an OBD11 port connector for smaller trucks that need to be compliant?
A: We do have an OBDII - JBUS available right now. Feel free to give our support team a call at 1-888-305-8777 x 1 or email them at support@bigroad.com to confirm your vehicle and pin-type.

How BigRoad Can Help

Want to get an AOBRD now take advantage of 2 additional years of flexibility? Let BigRoad help! Our DashLink ELD runs as an AOBRD until you install a simple software update to transition to an ELD. Request a demo to see how easy DashLink is to use!

Request DashLink Demo

About the Author: Alecz Sallows

Alecz Sallows

Alecz is a Marketing Specialist at BigRoad. She loves her cat, red wine, and desserts (despite being a terrible baker who consistently misses ingredients).