As Canada’s ELD mandate takes effect, compliance is impossible

by Today's Trucking

What if a federal regulation was passed, and no one complied? That’s the awkward situation the industry finds itself in, with the Canadian electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that took effect June 12.

Canada’s ELD mandate requires carriers to use a third-party-certified ELD, a list of which will be posted to Transport Canada’s website. However, no devices have been approved to date. That doesn’t mean the regulation is being postponed. It just means there will initially be no way to comply.

A 12-month phased-in enforcement approach was announced by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) in May, assuring no fines or penalties will be handed out when the regulation takes effect June 12.

(Photo: Geotab)

FPInnovations is the sole organization responsible for certifying ELDs for use in Canada. While that process is underway, it’s not clear when devices will secure their approval. It’s a source of frustration for Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) and a vocal critic of the process.

“As of June 12, there will not be one single carrier in this country who is compliant with the federal ELD mandate, and not one truck in Canada – according to the definition of an ELD by Transport Canada – will have an ELD in it,” he said.

“Not one Canadian truck will have an ELD on June 12 according to our regulations. Any device that is not on Transport Canada’s approved list of devices is considered an ERD [electronic recording device]…which is not a compliant ELD.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wanted full enforcement of the mandate to begin June 12, but acknowledges complications and delays related to Covid-19 have required a 12-month phased-in enforcement period to be implemented. However, it is pushing for full enforcement in June 2022, and expects verbal and written messages to be conveyed by enforcement immediately once the mandate goes into effect.

“CTA wanted to see Transport Canada’s ELD rule fully enforced starting on day one for all federally regulated trucking companies, but unforeseen circumstances over the last year have altered those plans,” said CTA chairman, Jean Claude Fortin.

“Progressive enforcement announced by Transport Canada and CCMTA over the next 12 months will allow compliant companies to effectively transition from paper logbooks to third-party ELDs. CTA believes that progressive enforcement over the next 12 months should not be limited solely to education, but that written warnings and, eventually, penalties be strongly considered as we get closer to June 2022 to ensure non-compliant carriers in our industry…are closely scrutinized throughout the next year and are compelled to fully comply with all the ELD requirements not a day after June 2022.”

He added: “CTA’s position is simple: In June 2022, there will be no excuses for a driver, a trucking company or anyone in the supply chain to misunderstand the requirements of compliance and no reason for provincial and territorial governments not to enforce the full extent of the ELD rule on federally regulated carriers.”

Millian worries about penalties, and even warnings, being issued over the next year.

“We feel any possibility of issuing warnings should not occur until at least six months after a fulsome list of devices has been approved and listed on Transport Canada’s list of approved devices,” he said in a press release. “Zero is obviously not a fulsome list, and industry needs at least six months to transition after an adequate list has been provided. We are advocating for education and awareness only, with no warnings, until at least June 12of 2022.”

Both the PMTC and CTA support the third-party-certification of ELDs, to weed out systems that can be manipulated. CTA is confident the first such devices will be approved in the coming weeks. Carriers should be in contact with their ELD vendors to ensure the product they use today will be certified, Millian points out.

Those not currently using an ELD should be researching devices, ensuring they will be submitted for certification, and developing an implementation plan.

“If signing a contract with a new supplier before they are on the approved list, ensure you have a clause in the contract that protects you if their device is not ultimately certified,” Millian suggests. “Remember, you as the carrier are the one who will be fined and possibly placed out of service once enforcement of the regulation takes hold.”

Jacques DeLarochelliere, president of Isaac Instruments, told Today’s Trucking the certification process is taking longer than the six to eight weeks first expected, but that’s proof the system is working. Some devices are being sent back for minor revisions based on interpretations of the standard, but he said FPInnovations’ precision will block non-compliant devices from receiving approval, which was the intent of the certification process.

“It’s not going to be long,” he said, when asked when the first devices will become certified. “The process is longer than we thought, but no one is to blame. FPInnovations has shown great knowledge of the space and respect for the process. They don’t have much room for flexibility and that’s OK. It’s a very stringent, very strict process.”

DeLarochelliere is confident that by late summer the dominant players in the Canadian market will be certified, giving the industry more than six months to comply before full enforcement begins next June. They should be able to push updates to existing devices remotely, simplifying the compliance process for fleets.

“I am pretty confident in the process and the industry is going to have coverage,” he said. “The process was supposed to be six to eight weeks – it’s way more than eight weeks. It’s not derailed, it’s not broken. It’s a strong process and it only shows that there are systems out there that needed work to be compliant.”

When ELDs do become certified, a table of approved devices will be published here.

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  • E-logs are not the solution to make the roads safer. A much better solution is more parking and set minimum wage rates with overtime. E -logs have made many people get different jobs. No company should be able to bring in more than 2 truck drivers in a 12 months unless their drivers with over 2 years experience get overtime after 10 hours per day and make a base rate of $27.59 cd plus medical on payroll per hour.

  • Make more and bigger rest areas and parking. Traffic is insane on 401. One accident you lose two fucking hours on elog.

  • I think ends for owner operators is too costly as a owner of one truck in these times who can afford too ..another way to grab cash

  • I think elds for owner operators is too costly as a owner of one truck in these times who can afford too ..another way to grab cash .it may work for long haul but not for bush and oilfield work or hot shots or towing in winter for example I noway back in I see a family broke down in minus 40 am I supposed to say sorry cant help u and log out while they freeze

    • Many small fleets will just shutdown. Many truck drivers including owner ops that are safe will leave the industry
      That is what the O T A wants. They the will say that is a shortage of truck drivers and try to bring in more cheap wage foreign drivers instead of paying a fair amount and overtime pay.

  • You would think that Canada would of taken a lesson from the US when they implemented this.

  • More government control,,,,if carriers and drivers were smart we boycott the hole thing,,,what would you do if everyone refused to comply,,,,you can’t fine everyone or shut everyone down,,,,you better remember you wouldn’t have food or clothes if it not for truckers,,,filthy hypocrites,,,truckers deserve respect better pay ,,at least 1 dollar a mile,,,,and better amenities in these trucks,,,,,the only reason law enforcement even exists for truckers is for the government to make money

  • Who actually wants ELD’s? Professional drivers don’t want them, DOT don’t want them, and most companies don’t want them. It seems the only people that want them are these companies standing to make the profit from selling the equipment and the software. This does nothing to addess the real problem in our industry, the drivers. Some drivers, no matter how many miles they drive, will never become a professional driver.

  • So, no devices approved, but CTA wants warnings issued for failure to comply. Enough said about CTA. Not to mention the implications of a single provider. There should be NO further talk of implementation until at least 6 devices are approved.

    Anything less is foolish and predatory.

  • And what does Transport Canada have to say about its failure to certify these devices in time for the industry to have them installed and operational by the time the regulation came into effect?

  • To say the devices that are on the market are being used and of course the regulation stipulate that you have to carry at all time fifteen blank pages of paper log . Just in case of problem with the tablet.

  • Where to begin …
    @Stephen Webster … spoken like a true socialist.
    The only drivers that have quit driving because of the ELD are the ones that haven’t figured out that their time is actually worth something … the ones that haven’t figured out how to make money by following the rules.

    @Tenu ki … you lose the same 2 hours on paper. What’s your point?

    @larry papineau … In a sense you are right. A full-on ELD solution with telematics and back end office support will be costly for the individual operator. However there are likely to be “Lite” solutions for your type of operation. Keep in mind it is pretty hard for your customer(s) to argue with a government mandated time keeper. In your minus 40 example, are you suggesting that because that situation might happen once in a lifetime to one driver, the entire country should abandon the ELD initiative? Furthermore, how does the ELD even affect such a situation? It has no more affect on said situation than does the paper log.

    @Richard Broekstra … what lesson is that?

    @Christopher Criss … Frankly most of your post is just drivel. Look it up in a dictionary if you don’t know what drivel means. You do know what a dictionary is right?
    “the only reason law enforcement even exists for truckers is for the government to make money” … are you kidding? That is probably the single stupidest statement ever uttered. If you are a driver, get out of that truck right now. Take up a different career, go on poggie, welfare, become a hobo, anything, just get out of that truck. It is without question that that attitude, lack of respect for the law which translates into a complete lack of respect for your fellow man, is going to kill someone someday. You are simply an accident waiting to happen.
    Get out of that truck right now. Just get out of it.
    If you’re not a driver, then you’re a troll, and no one has time for trolls.

    @MARK YACYSHYN … Ummm, kind of everyone that has used them wants them.
    Professional drivers want them. No more spending an hour every night trying to cook your books, and they actually get paid for the work they do.
    Of course DOT wants them. It was their idea in the first place. They may not agree on how the Fed is going about it, but make no mistake, law enforcement wants ERODS (Electronic Record Of Duty Status).
    Yes companies want them. They give invaluable insight into their cost of operations.
    If you get paid to drive, you’re a professional driver. Do new drivers meet the self imposed standard of yesteryear, definitely not, but was that a real standard, of just a self-imposed code of ethics? The culture of professional drivers is changing, and like it or not, we’d all better get used to it because it’s not going back the way it was.

    @S boyer … What more government control? What has changed in the Hours of Service regulations? Let me flesh this out for you and others that have a misunderstanding of what the ELD actually is. It is nothing more than a different, more modern, way of recording your record of duty status. Nothing more, and nothing less. If you can run a cell phone, than you can run an ELD. It’s that simple.

    @Martin Fisher … I could not agree more. If there is anything wrong with this entire roll out it is the fact that the government appointed only one company to certify all ELDs. FWIW, if it makes anyone feel better, the company selected is a supposed expert in forestry automation.

    • I am homeless former owner op who was hurt in a truck accident 5 years ago after my house was hit by a windstorm 8 years ago that the insurance company did not fix. I value my time the same or more than any other truck driver. I have said truck drivers should be paid a hourly rate of at least $27.50 per hour plus overtime before E logs come. Yes I do live at homeless shelters along with many other lower wage essential workers in Ontario. I volunteer at 40 hours a month month to help disabled to and from medical care. I am also on the board of a nonprofit that tries to find housing and operate a group home for former truck drivers and vets. The shipping companies and receivers need to provide parking when they do get the truck unloaded before the E -log runs out. I believe all truck drivers should begin at certain hourly rate when E logs are required.

      • So, despite your hardships, would it be correct to assume you’ve no hands-on experience with the ELD?
        Five years ago you would have used an AOBRD. That’s similar, but not quite the same as an ELD.
        I make that assumption for this reason; If you are keenly familiar with the ELD system you would know, and understand, that it has fundamentally changed the landscape of driver compensation. Yesteryear a driver never really knew how much s/he actually worked as they were constantly cooking their books. All a driver could really go by was the number of miles they drove.
        Now, the ELD doesn’t allow the cooking of log books. When a driver figures out that they are working for $8.00 an hour, they really are only working for $8.00 an hour.
        There is a minimum wage standard in Canada, and no matter how you pay a driver, or any worker, financial compensation (money-in-the-pocket) must be equal to or greater than that minimum wage standard. It’s the law.
        Time is quickly replacing miles as the new standard in trucking compensation, both from the company and the driver standpoint, albeit “miles” is putting up quite a fight.
        One day, sooner rather than later, you will get your hourly wish, and driver quality will determine the rate.
        BTW … there’s nothing wrong with a dedicated socialist 😉
        Best of luck and fortune in your future.

        • I have worked under a blog in the past 3 years. 2 years ago I was working under a e log I could not stop when I need to medical reasons. Almost lost my right foot. I like many truck drivers that have medical issues use a homeless shelters when they get sick. I fully understand hourly pay and the difference it makes on how long a truck sits on a dock

    • Beau… your first 2 statements hit the nail on the head! I understand what Richard is saying, the Canadian mandate was supposed to coincide with the US in 2018! But Canada’s Federal Gov are such control freaks. All ELD manufacturers know exactly what the regulations are in BOTH countries. This is just BS in Canada; is our Federal Gov’s lack of ability to get anything done for the public’s safety is criminal!! As for many other comments here – I don’t get most of the points either. Appears to be company drivers complaining about hourly wage – WTF ?? does that have to do with safer driving conditions that ELD’s will provide, because no one will be able to cheat on them. Forestry operation… Yeah I was wondering about that. HOW ABOUT SEASONED & PROFESSIONAL HEAVY TRUCK DRIVERS??!!!

    • Exactly!! We’ve been using various ones since 2018 and they are simple to use. Can’t cheat? Don’t worry, companies will have to educate their customers. Almost impossible & tight delivery time-lines will be gone YAHOO!!!

  • Our medium sized fleet have over 100 trucks. We proactively decided in January of 2021 to install what we had researched through trials as the best GPS hardware solution and went with their ELD software approach. Of course we expect some compliance hiccups but decided the most reliable hardware can easily be supported with software, consider the foundation before you build so to speak. As of June 12 th of 2021 we were ready for the mandate and deadline. We aren’t waiting to be forced into last minute compliance. This one year reprieve on enforcement shouldn’t be wasted, we expect DOT will view favourably carriers who demonstrably commit to compliance. Our drivers are universally happy with e-logs so far.