April 1 and Enforcement, Part I: AOBRDs. Should You & Your Drivers Expect Anything Different?

March 27, 2018 Jake Wallace

By Dave Osiecki, President of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting & ELD Consultant to PeopleNet

This post is the first in a two-part series on the upcoming April 1 deadline, which marks the beginning of a more stringent enforcement of the ELD mandate. For part 2, click here.

April 1 will bring the next phase of ELD implementation—more stringent enforcement of the mandate.  But what does that mean for drivers using grandfathered Automatic On-board Recording Devices (AOBRDs)?  Should your drivers expect anything different during roadside inspections?  Ideally, the answer should be “no” since roadside inspectors should be very familiar with AOBRDs, and how they view and potentially obtain hours-of-service compliance data from an AOBRD.  However, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) recently revised its AOBRD Inspection Bulletin (in December 2017), and re-posted it on its website in January 2018.  This revised Bulletin provides some brief, updated inspection guidance to inspectors.

Before covering a few details of this updated AOBRD Bulletin and the inspection-related questions it suggests, a preliminary note about enforcement preparedness.  It’s likely that State enforcement officers will be well trained and, therefore, more comfortable with both the AOBRD grandfather provision and the ELD rules than they might have been in mid-December when the initial compliance date took effect.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently completed another round of AOBRD & ELD rule training for State officials.  This training addressed some of the initial enforcement challenges that were identified in January 2018, shortly after the December 2017 compliance date took effect.  So, your drivers can expect professional and well-trained roadside inspectors asking the right questions about both AOBRDs and ELDs.  But what are those questions?

This is where CVSA’s AOBRD Inspection Bulletin helps.  During an inspection, one of the first questions a driver should expect is whether the device being used is an ELD, or an AOBRD.  Of course, the rules for these technologies are different, and a driver’s answer to that question will dictate the inspector’s follow-up questions and requests.  On this note, it’s critical that drivers know which technology they are using (ELD or AOBRD), and be ready to communicate it with certainty.

If a driver communicates to an inspector that he or she is using a grandfathered AOBRD, the inspector is likely to ask some or all of the following questions (not necessarily in this order):

  • Can you demonstrate for me how you use the device? Drivers must be capable of using the AOBRD and should be able to demonstrate this capability to an inspector upon request.
  • Can you show me (or hand me) the on-board AOBRD information packet? This packet is required to contain an instruction sheet describing, in detail, how data may be stored and retrieved from the device.  This packet can be either on paper or an electronic file containing this information.
  • Can you show me a supply of blank paper logs? These are required in the event of an AOBRD failure and must be sufficient for the duration of the current trip.
  • Can you show me the AOBRD display screen so I may check for the six required data elements? An AOBRD with a display screen must be able to show the following:
    • Driver’s total hours of driving today
    • Total hours on-duty today
    • Total miles driving today
    • Total hours on-duty for the seven-consecutive day period, including today
    • Total hours on-duty for the prior eight-consecutive day period, including today
    • The sequential changes in duty status, and the times the changes occurred for each driver using the device

For the AOBRD portion of a roadside inspection to go smoothly, it’s important for a driver to know:

  1. that the device he or she is using is an AOBRD;
  2. how to use the device including which screen displays the six elements listed above;
  3. where the on-board information packet is (including where it is if it’s an electronic file), and what it contains;
  4. how to initiate and send a file via email to an inspector only IF the device is capable of emailing a file, and IF an email is requested;
  5. that an AOBRD does NOT have to be capable of printing an electronic log record;
  6. that an AOBRD does NOT have to be capable of moving from its mount and, therefore, it does NOT have to be capable of being handed outside of the truck to an inspector.

Inspections can be high-stress events for drivers, especially if they don’t experience them very often.  Driver training, and preparation on what to expect, can lower the stress and facilitate the inspection for all involved. For more information, take a look at the CVSA’s AOBRD Inspection Bulletin.

Have questions about April 1 or anything else related to the ELD mandate? Visit PeopleNet’s ELD Resource Page to get your questions and answered and stay up-to-date on everything ELD.

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April 1 and Enforcement, Part II: ELDs. Should You & Your Drivers Expect Anything Different?
April 1 and Enforcement, Part II: ELDs. Should You & Your Drivers Expect Anything Different?

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