MONTREAL, Que. – Cross-border truck drivers are already familiar with electronic logging devices (ELDs), but there will be differences when the equipment is mandated for all federally regulated carriers as of June 12, 2021.
And the differences are not limited to the need for Canadian devices to be certified by a recognized third party.
Here are 13 things that drivers should know about ELDs, said Isaac Instruments compliance and safety specialist Melanie Simard, during an online presentation for the 2020 Isaac User Conference.
- The Hours of Service (HoS) don’t change – The number of hours that drivers can work remains unchanged. The ELD mandate only changes the way those hours are recorded and reported.
- There are three exceptions to the rule – Commercial vehicles or engines built before the year 2000 won’t require ELDs, nor will vehicles that stick to operating within 160 km of a home terminal. Short-term truck rentals of less than 30 days are also exempt, giving Canadian carriers more flexibility with replacement trucks when compared to the eight-day limits in the U.S., she says.
- There are lessons to learn – “Give yourself time to adjust,” Simard says in her message to truck drivers, recommending attending training sessions or asking for documentation and setting aside some time to read it. “Become familiar with the technology. You know how a logbook is done. You’re the professional driver. What you need is to learn how to operate the device.”
- Slow movements will be detected – Driving status will automatically be detected once a truck reaches 8 km/h. “If you’re new to ELDs, this is one of the major changes,” she says.
- Drivers control any modifications – While the driving status itself can’t be modified, other changes made by a back office must still be approved by the driver before taking effect.
- On-duty status after a brief stop – A Canadian ELD will have to automatically return to an on-duty status after a five-minute stop.
- Activate the yard moves – Those traveling on something other than a public road will need to activate the yard duty status, or the ELD will report the movement as driving time. “There’s also a minor change in Canada,” Simard says, comparing this to the U.S. rule. “This feature will be automatically deactivated if you reach 32 km/h.”
- Review unassigned driving time – Every driving segment will need to be recorded, even if someone else moves a truck, so drivers will be prompted to review unassigned moves or reject any that do not apply to them. “With a Canadian ELD, if you accept a change that does not belong to you, you will be able to reject the wrongly accepted driving segment,” Simard says.
- ELDs will automatically detect diagnostic activity and defects – This is meant to identify issues such as a problem when syncing with an engine, or a disconnected device. “In Canada you’ll have more flexibility during a malfunction,” she adds. “Contrary to the U.S., where you can only use a paper log for eight days, you will now have 14 days or until the end of your current trip to get the device repaired.”
- The countdown begins — and drivers will see it in action – “Unlike the U.S. regulation, the Canadian rule requires the ELD to show the remaining number of driving hours and minutes before the next required rest period,” Simard says.
- Canadian devices will account for special HoS cases – The Canadian ELDs will need to address the deferral of off-duty time, operating zones, cycle management, personal conveyance, and the logging of additional hours with different fleets. The cycle management, for example, will support the different driving limits that apply on either side of the 60th parallel in Canada, and when crossing the border into the U.S. “In Canada, you may defer a maximum of two hours off the daily off-duty time to the following day,” she adds, referring to another capability.
- Personal conveyance will be allowed … to a point – In Canada, ELDs will offer a daily maximum of 75 km for personal conveyance, as long as the truck is bobtailing. But the ELD will automatically change to an on-duty-driving status beyond that distance.
- The last 14 days can be entered – Drivers who are otherwise exempt from logging their hours, such as those traveling no further than 160 km from a home base, will be able to enter data for the previous 14 days if they find themselves in a situation that requires the electronic records.
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