Bring on Canadian ELD mandate, carrier urges

TORONTO, Ont. – A Canadian regulation mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) can’t come “soon enough,” according to David Carruth, CEO at One For Freight.

He was speaking on the subject of ELDs and trucking technologies during a webinar hosted by Omnitracs. One For Freight has already made the transition to e-logs in advance of a U.S. mandate that takes effect Dec. 18, and he would like to see Canada move more quickly to pass a similar regulation.

“All of the data is there for us to make the right decision,” he said. “All the case studies have been done…My question is, why would we not want to do this and do this sooner rather than later?”

He also said the only resistance will come from “companies that do not have a commitment to safety, and do not have a commitment to overall compliance.”

But Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), said Canada will not likely have fully implemented an ELD mandate of its own until the end of 2019. The proposed rule first has to be published in Canada Gazette 1, which Laskowski said will hopefully be before the end of the year. Then, a 60-day comment period will likely take place, followed by another three to five months of reviewing those comments. The final rule is likely to be published in Canada Gazette 2, sometime in mid-2018 “optimistically,” noted Laskowski, with hard enforcement unlikely to begin before late 2019.

Laskowski said the industry should welcome the mandate.

“The ELD regulation is bringing to head the inefficiencies in the supply chain, especially those the drivers bear the brunt of,” he said. “Inefficiencies at loading docks, inefficient loading times themselves.”

Carruth said his company has seen many benefits since adopting electronic logs. They’ve given him hard data he can use to raise shipper awareness about inefficiencies, One For Freight’s CVOR violation rate has been cut in half, and drivers are now more productive.

Mike Ham, vice-president and general manager of Omnitracs Canada, said customers who switch to e-logs typically free up two to 2.5 hours of drive time per week for drivers, which was previously spent filling paper logs.

“There’s an additional, maybe 100 miles a week a driver may get,” he said, adding time-consuming internal logbook audits are also automated.

Laskowski said an ELD mandate will be “the great cleansing of our industry,” and will force carriers to compete based on sound business practices and innovation rather than ignoring hours-of-service rules.

“The ELD mandate will bring a lot of great things for drivers,” Laskowski added. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the carriers who do it the right way to thrive, and for those who have not been doing it (right), to change or to exit the industry.”

Tom Cuthbertson, vice-president of regulatory affairs at Omnitracs, said ELDs improve communication between drivers and dispatch, and between carriers and shippers.

“The driver has a tool for planning their day better, their interaction with dispatch is better received,” he explained.

But for fleets just now preparing to comply with the U.S. ELD mandate, Cuthbertson warned training is critical.

“The drivers are important and it’s key to make sure they understand what is in these mandates and how it will affect them. It’s just as important that safety managers understand what is in these regulations, the dispatch people, and even the mechanics,” Cuthbertson warned. For example, mechanics will need to know a truck cannot operate legally in the U.S. without a functioning ELD for more than eight days, so repairs must be handled swiftly.

“This educational process must be on every piece of the organization, not only the driver,” he said.

And when training drivers, Cuthbertson suggested spending some time with them inside the cab for some hands-on training.

“Give drivers 10-15 minutes in the cab, that extra time in the cab really raises their awareness,” he said.

Carruth also spoke of other technologies One For Freight is deploying, including cameras inside and around the cab, and collision mitigation systems.

“All the equipment we are now ordering has the most advanced collision avoidance systems on it,” he said.

The OTA’s Laskowski commended that approach, noting most crashes are still due to driver error.

“If you’re really looking to improve on fleet safety and overall safety on the roadways, it’s dealing with human error,” he said. “Even the best and most professional and most committed drivers are still human beings. We are starting to see more technology out there that really aids the driver as opposed to supplements the driver.”

It’s also important, noted Carruth, to take data generated by technology and use it effectively. He cited the example of fuel economy data generated by two owner-operators who ran similar routes and miles, with one achieving 8.64 mpg and the other 5.4 mpg. The company was able to use that data to have a discussion as to what was causing the variation in fuel economy.

“The difference was $24,000 U.S. a year in their pocket,” said Carruth. “Without having that information, I can’t sit in front of both owner-operators and say great work, or this needs to get better. How are we going to use that data to help all our systems?”


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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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  • Love listening to the b.s spewed by these “smart” people in favor of ELD mandates. Most of whom have never done any driving to speak of. Tell them to put and ELD in their BMW and remove delete button from keyboard for a week and see how that works….cause thats what they are imposing on truck drivers. “Socialism is for the people, not the socialst” and thats all this is

  • First as a driver using elogs I have to say they are not what the “safety advocates” promote. Personally I can’t sleep during the day so when I have to run at night this promotes tired driving…or goes against normal sleep patterns.
    2nd USA Major fleets that have implemented mandate appear to be in more crashes since implementing ELOGS.
    3rd parking is at a premium now..where are trucks to park for their mandated time. Canada has far few parking areas then the USA…
    Overall, my opinion of this mandated ruling is it causes more accidents as drivers are now racing to beat the violation clock, shippers & receivers don’t care about detention times, freight rates haven’t changed to compensate the companies/drivers for extra costs incurred installing these systems.
    Overall the bases used of safety is a scam. How is driving long haul to the west or east coast on nights for 3.5 days, then needing to switch to daytime deliveries or 2 or 3 days, then back to night driving safer? Even shift workers typically are 2 weeks on n then 2 weeks on the next shift….bureaucrats need to stay out of the trucking industry!

  • Elds will just force guys to drive longer then they feel comfortable without resting if that sounds safer then being able to pic your own break times , don’t think so that is why ELDS are a joke

  • Oh how I love listening to these presidents of trucking companies spew their BS over ELDs. First 2.5 hrs less per week filling out paper logs eh. Maybe if the driver can’t complete a straight line give me a break. I ask these guys who’s going to phone the shipper and demand more $ cause my driver has been waiting at your unionized place that doesn’t give a god dam how long I’ve been waiting past my appointment time. Or buddy trucking will shut off his ELD and take your load cause they don’t care? Stop making ELD sound like we’re off to see Oz and the yellow brick road. Trucking is in for a rude awakening as well the provincial government where do we pull over in the north at 14 hrs? I must have missed all those nice parking spots on my way west last time

  • It seems odd that in the same week as the magazine comes out with an article about the industry being ‘painted with the same brush’ that this nonsense is printed. First offensive statement about companies who ‘do not have a commitment to safety, and do not have a commitment to overall compliance’ is utter foolishness. This statement was made with the same mentality the government uses when passing trucking legislation; every truck is driven coast to coast, by an obvious idiot. Some of us, sir, rarely travel further than 8-9 hours from home, with freight that loads and unloads quickly, in impeccably maintained equipment. Hours of service violations are near impossible, even if a driver wanted to take the huge risk. DO NOT put me in the category of a lawbreaker just because my company doesn’t fit this narrow-minded template.
    Second ridiculous remark; drivers will save up to 2.5 duty hours per week by using ELD’s. What the hell are they using for logbooks now, blocks of limestone, drawn with a hammer and chisel? Seriously, the most poorly trained rookie on the road couldn’t screw in that much time filling out a logbook. Statements like this guarantee you won’t be taken seriously.
    Third and final offensive statement, of course from the OTA. This will be the ‘great cleansing of our industry’. Seriously Mr. Laskowski? I thought the ‘great cleansing’ began over a decade ago when the most influential fleets in the industry refused to increase pay levels sufficiently to retain good, qualified, experienced drivers, thereby opening the floodgates for poorly trained drivers who often have no urge to ever become more proficient.
    Maybe it’s time the finger of blame was pointed where it belongs, instead of automatically assuming everyone with opposition to further expensive legislation is a lawbreaker. But that would assume ‘innocent until proven guilty, right’? Heaven forbid.

  • ELD regulation only benefits large corporations. They can track their loads, charge shippers demerage and decide how and when the drivers can run. Parking is a huge problem.
    Being forced to drive all of your hours out is a huge problem.
    I propose that they give us a 14 hour window, and let us choose how to use it.
    The ELD will promote unsafe driving, and will also have drivers in the truck longer for the same pay.
    Good luck finding new drivers in this field, although we might not have to soon with autonomous trucks coming ourselves way.

  • I must say shame on those who are pushing for ELDs it’s nothing to do with safety I have been using them for 3 years.
    Just imagine $20 Every month from each truck would go to track ELD that would be billions of dollars in profits for these tech companies.
    They should invest in building rest areas for at least 100 trucks for every 50 miles on all the major routes
    Then they should talk.

  • So if they give you all this extra time and why do companies productivity per truck go down an average of 20% when using elogs? Maybe they are just massaging the numbers because they can’t compete with the Canada only carriers and trucks not using elogs and want the field leveled.
    I am an o/o who runs the states and has elogs. I’m not anywhere near a hard runner and I have seen a decline in my productivity. If everything goes goes great I don’t have a problem. But if the roads are a parking lot it all goes away. And I can’t “cheat” that 20 or 30 minutes that make the difference from me delivering on time day 3 or mid day 4.
    Second thing they do is make people run faster and be more agrees I’ve. I always drive 96km hr. I have stepped it up to 100 and sometimes 105. I have to. Anybody who says this isn’t the case is sadly mistaken. This will create more accidents by faster speeds and more agression. I see it already. This winter on the 401 corridor should be a gong show.

  • These big companies are pushing the ELD to put small companies out of business (IT’S ABOUT A DOLLAR AND NOTHING TO DO WITH SAFTEY) I have been a truck driver for 38 years and these big companies are the unsafest trucks on the road . I have worked some of them they put untrained drivers in the cockpit of an 80,000 pound weapon

  • to the above commentators…..

    we’ll figure out how to make it work.

    otherwise, to folks such as yourself…”bye felicia!” *claps at more job openings*

  • The logistic of eld are valid in my mind and does show how much the driver subsidizes the industry,by assuming risk that just puts larger profits in the shipper/recievers pocket.
    I would suggest that executives
    Participating in decision making groups be strapped to there chair and forced to operate under penalty of significant monetay fines when they make a keystroke error because when a driver makes an error in judgement ie log book violation the cost is high not only to the driver but to the kids sitting home at the supper table. (Not to mention if i am stressed and fail to see a situation developing be it injury or property damage) The cost is really high money taken is food right of the table. That make anyone feel good? Yes down load the issue on those least able to defend themselves. However if safety on the highway is really a social issue put SPEED LIMITERS IN CARS. Also insurance companies could give significant price discounts to car owners that put elog type devices and sppeed limiters on there cars. Wow now isnt that a novel idea that should stir some red faces at tbe regulatory level. Thats my rant

  • Bring it on the moron says! When you re driving through Toronto traffic and in The Rocky Mountains in the winter, the eld kills you…the clock doesnt stop ticking…these advocates of eld should be thrown in jail with no trial because they want to make us less productive which means I ll be bringing less money home! Do I need an eld to tell me how many hours I can work?!Does a surgeon that works around the clock have limitations placed on him? Fuck you all control freaks! This is Canada not North Corea!

  • This has absolutely nothing to do with safety. It is a large fleet driver manipulation tool designed to cut administrative costs-period. The unqualified people these large carriers are putting behind the wheel is criminal. Send the owners to court with the drivers and make them accountable.

  • Totally agree with previous posts, i dont understand how this people are so ignorant and unprofessional, it is not whining that drivers express here, it is real concerns, push for the shipper 2 hours ELD loading unloading , you fools and may be this will save the industry from disaster