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Canadian ELD mandate, U.S. deadline will have impact on industry


HOUSTON, Texas – Trimble executives identified Canada’s upcoming electronic logging device (ELD) mandate as the most influential factor altering the country’s trucking landscape going forward.

Paired with Canada’s June 2021 ELD regulation is a big change in the U.S.’s rule coming Dec. 16 with carriers no longer being able to use automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs), and having to make the switch to ELDs.

“The sooner you recognize this as a major change and not a minor change, the better off you’ll be,” said Shaun Callaghan, vice-president of transportation Canada and enterprise sales for Trimble Transportation, during the in.sight User Conference today in Houston, Texas.

Callaghan said carriers in Canada must realign their policies to meet these new U.S. regulations, as well as prepare for the upcoming Canadian mandate, by implementing company policies and training both drivers and administrative personnel.

One of the main differences the Canadian ELD mandate will have from the U.S. version will be third-party certification. Callaghan said this will result in a smaller number of certified devices than the U.S., which currently has more than 400 to choose from.

Another difference between the two rules is how each recognizes personal conveyance time. In the U.S., there is no mileage limit for drivers using vehicles for personal conveyance, while Canada will cap the distance at 75 km.

Drivers in the U.S. crossing into Canada must be aware of Canada’s 75-km limit, and with Trimble’s ELD devices, it will be made easier, as they automatically switch over to the appropriate rule depending on where the truck is being operated.

Canada’s legalization of cannabis was another issue Callaghan said poses hurdles for carriers hauling cross-border.

Though he said drugs in the workplace have long been an issue, legal cannabis has its own set of challenges for trucking companies and drivers, particularly those operating cross-border.

Making the switch

With both Canadian and U.S. carriers needing to adopt ELDs sooner rather than later, Chris Harmon, senior technical trainer with Trimble, offered a four-step process to make the transition as easy as possible.

Priority number one is for companies to prepare for the transition. This includes holding a kick-off meeting to relay the message to employees. Carriers should then create policies, review migration documentation, and schedule data uploads to prepare for the move.

Once policies are established, companies should prepare their team on the new ELD applications.

Uploading necessary data, such as terminal and driver information, is the third step in the process.

Finally, carriers need to prepare their drivers for the switch by going over day-to-day considerations and policies to ensure success.

Driver certifications, personal conveyance, yard moves, ELD malfunctions, editing ELD records, and unassigned driving time are all areas drivers must be educated.

Despite the U.S. ELD mandate having been passed two years ago – which came with the AOBRD grandfather clause until December of this year – and the deadline for ELD adoption three months away, a poll of those attending the ELD session showed the vast majority are only now starting to migrate over to ELDs, with one carrier still not making the move to switch.


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