As ELD mandate looms, it’s time to ask these three questions

As Canada’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate approaches, many fleets admit to being ill-prepared for the regulation, set to go into effect in June 2021. According to a Today’s Trucking Pulse survey, 37% of respondents noted they will not be prepared, or are unsure of their preparedness when the mandate takes effect next June.

The same survey revealed 45% of respondents are not currently using an ELD today. Some may be using telematics, but not the ELD component of those platforms.

It’s easy to blame government for this lack of preparedness – after all, a third-party ELD certification body has yet to be named – but blaming government won’t get you far. Transport Canada has recently reiterated it’s committed to the June deadline and that it is confident devices can be certified on time.

But one of the reasons it’s optimistic of that, is a cause for concern in itself. Transport Canada and industry groups are not expecting a lot of ELD vendors to go through the rigorous certification process. If you’re using a device that won’t be certified for use in Canada, you will have to replace that device – and that’s not a process you want to begin at the last minute.

(Source: iStock)

To help bring some clarity to the Canadian ELD mandate and its implications for fleets, I’ve been working with Isaac Instruments on a webinar that I’ll be moderating Oct. 13. In preparing for that webinar, we have been discussing some questions fleet managers should be asking of their ELD vendors today.

Without offering any spoilers from the webinar, here are a few questions to ask your ELD supplier:

Are you planning to certify the device I’m using? There are roughly 400 “self-certified” ELDs listed as suitable in the U.S. market, but it’s widely anticipated only 12-20 devices will become third-party certified in Canada. Also, some suppliers are only planning to certify certain models – so ensure you have the right ones installed in your trucks.

What’s your readiness for the Canadian rule? Is your ELD supplier just awaiting certification, or is it still in the coding process? Can you be assured their devices will be compliant by the deadline? Try to get a guarantee from your vendor that they’ll be certified and ready to go when the mandate takes effect.

Will my hardware have to be swapped out for the Canadian mandate, or can it become compliant with a software update? If the hardware has to be replaced, plan accordingly to get all the trucks in your fleet compliant by the deadline. Fortunately, most suppliers should be able to add Canadian requirements remotely via a software update.

Please join me Oct. 13 for the webinar that will explore this topic in much more detail. In addition to an overview of the mandate provided by Isaac Instruments’ v.p. of sales Jean-Sebastien Bouchard, we will also talk to Derek Gaston, supervisor of truck operations at CN, who will provide first-hand insights into what it takes to roll out an ELD across a large fleet. You can register for free here.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • I have a 2000 Kenworth W900B with6nz Cat 475 will i have to run e log with my truck or is it excenpt because of the year truck was built 1999??????

  • “but it’s widely anticipated only 12-20 devices will become third-party certified in Canada.”

    I think this is grossly missing the mark. We’re going to see 100’s of devices up here in Canada…

  • Been using elogs now for over a year, but just recently switched to” Issac on the go” at first it was a learning curve like every thing else , one thing I’d like see built-in to the software if not allready is the cross border calculation kms, miles , etc for IFTA . Provincial or federal bounderies Would make our paper trail just a bit more manageable.

  • I don’t think Canada is ready for ELD. Why? They don’t have the infrastructure for it. Especially out west. Truck stops are small and there is little to no rest areas. Where are truckers going to park? Most cited don’t allow parking on street. And some now are giving out tickets if you weigh over 46,500 kgs. But one bad apple spoils the pie.