Despair not, dear reader, if you’re out there still running a grandfathered Automatic On-Board Recording Device today, December 16, which according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD mandate quick-facts FAQ happens to be the date on which “mandatory use of ELDs” begins. AOBRDs’ use, actually, is kosher through the bitter end of the day today, at which point a bona fide ELD is required for those not exempt from the rule, according to the rules themselves. To wit, on grandfathered devices put into service prior to the mandate’s December 2017 compliance date:
395.15 Automatic on-board recording devices.
(a) Authority to use. (1) A motor carrier that installs and requires a driver to use an automatic on-board recording device in accordance with this section before December 18, 2017 may continue to use the compliant automatic on-board recording device no later than December 16, 2019.
So grandfathered AOBRDs are all good today, right? A lot depends on what you mean by deadline, really, and the reality of the matter is that, as we’ve been reporting all year, for a fleet of any size utilizing legacy equipment that does not have the ability to easily flip between AOBRD and ELD modes, any upgrade of units not already done could be difficult to pull off in the less-than-12 hours remaining in the grandfather period.
If FMCSA and various news outlets’ use of Dec. 16/Dec. 17 for the “deadline” hasn’t exactly been 100% consistent leading into this week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s has, and that date is in fact the 17th (tomorrow as of this writing). Nonetheless, given some discrepancy in dates and interpretations floating around, if anyone still operating in AOBRD mode today gets put out of service for not having an ELD, you definitely have a case to overturn that violation.
Here’s a resource page for our feature reporting about the final AOBRD-to-ELD transition conducted earlier this year. As is often the case with changes like this, the extent of enforcement is the usual wildcard — let us know what your seeing from inspectors as goes attention to the use of a registered ELD on the 17th by dialing our podcast line via 530-408-6423 or tapping the call button below.