Canadian ELD timeline remains firm: CTA

OTTAWA, Ont. – Don’t expect a reprieve from the Canadian electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, set to go into effect in June 2021.

That was the message from Geoff Wood, senior vice-president of policy for the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), while speaking at Trimble’s virtual in.sight user conference Aug. 25.

Garneau with ELD
Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said Canada remains committed to a June 2021 rollout for its ELD mandate. (Photo: CTA)

“Transport Canada is committed to this,” Wood said, despite some calls from within industry for a delay in implementation. “It is full steam ahead.”

But that doesn’t mean dialogue with industry will end when the mandate is implemented next June, Wood added.

“There will be a lot of support and communication between Transport Canada and the ELD vendors,” he said.

In fact, a committee is being formed consisting of the Standards Council of Canada (the body charged with developing the certification standards), Transport Canada, and ELD vendors. The committee will discuss any issues that come up after implementation.

“In laymen’s terms, this will allow us to monitor what is going on going forward and if any changes need to be made, they can be discussed here and a process can be put forward,” said Wood. “If there are situations or concerns about back doors, workarounds that some vendors are trying to put into the market, this committee can deal with that.”

Unlike in the U.S., ELDs approved in Canada will need to be verified for compliance by a third party. The delay in selecting third-party certifying bodies is what has caused some calls from within industry for a delay in the implementation timeline. Wood dismissed those concerns.

“We believe one certifying body will be available for ELD vendors as early as September,” he said. “In terms of, when we get a certification body, how quickly can they get things done, our understanding is once certifying bodies are up and running, they’ll be able to manage multiple ELD product offerings simultaneously.”

Wood is confident ELD vendors will have time to become certified before the mandate is implemented.

Because third-party certification is required, it’s expected there will be fewer offerings approved in the Canadian marketplace than in the U.S., where about 400 devices have been self-certified.

“We expect the ELD space to be a lot smaller in the Canadian marketplace,” Wood said, noting about six to eight suppliers were active in shaping the Canadian rules and that there will likely only be 15-20 that go through the process of third-party certification.

While Canada will transition from paper to electronic logs, Wood noted the hours-of-service rules are not changing at all, and that the goal all along was to align the ELD technical standards as closely as possible to those in the U.S. The Canadian updates will likely be pushed to existing ELDs via an over-the-air update, he added.

(Source: Screen grab)

Trimble says it will be ready

For its part, Trimble said it is preparing to comply with the Canadian standard, and is planning to release its first set of product features required by the Canadian ELD mandate starting in the fourth quarter.

“What we discovered is more Trimble Transportation mobility customers than not have at least some level of operation in Canada, whether it is your entire fleet or just occasionally a truck or two,” said product manager Denise Grove said.

She added more than 1,000 Trimble fleets have some level of operations in both Canada and the U.S.

Grove assured fleets that the transition to the Canadian ELD will not be complicated.

“Instead of doing a large migration like you experienced from (automatic on-board recording devices) AOBRDs to ELDs, all you will have to do is accept a Canadian-compliant version,” Grove said, referring to the messy transition from AOBRDs to ELDs American fleets experienced last December.

Trimble devices will also be compliant with new U.S. hours-of-service regulations coming into effect at the end of September, said product manager Frank Stowers.

In July, the company made the updates available to fleets for field validation, he said. Trimble is now commercializing the version which supports the HoS changes, making the company ready for Sept. 29.

“On that date, technical teams on the Trimble side will flip a switch, making the updates standardized throughout our certified platforms,” Stowers said.

U.S. regulators announced changes to the HoS rules in May, saying they will offer more flexibility to America’s truckers.

  • With files from Abdul Latheef.
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James Menzies is editorial director of Today's Trucking and He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 24 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • Cta is just a bunch of stake holders that couldn’t drive a wheelbarrow through a farmers field. They learned how to steal money from the owner operators and the drivers. ELDs are just to control drivers and collect data for driverless trucks.

  • This is very bad to control truck drivers with having hundreds more parking spots with showers wi fi and electric plugs for the comfort of the the truck drivers. I got fungus in my foot because of lack of safe places to look after my foot when I am homeless .The same thing is happening to truck drivers that can not find safe places to park and get a shower every day.. A much better idea would be over time after 10 hours per day and a spot to park the truck pre-planned with showers paid for by the employer or the shipper. This will make less people living in Canada want to drive truck and more truck drivers get another type of work.

  • Our jp government has a tenancy to through out new laws with out having any IDEA how to implement them clearly. # 1 is parking for trucks we have maybe 10-20% of the parking needed to put this into force and don’t see it getting done. his government works like kids playing in a sand box Bullying each other around. Like look at me see what i could do to screw things up really good. to take the focus of of him steeling the tax payer blind. I,m not saying the ELD’s are a bad thing they need to look at the oilfield side of things as well, not just the easy hiway hauling side of things.

  • I didn’t realize that the CTA was/is responsible for Government of Canada policy and the implementation of new laws covering the trucking industry in Canada. As usual, their arrogance and entitlement precede any sensible dialogue. It is a given that the ELD mandate is going to be a reality in Canada, but the glacial pace of Federal progress on this file means that there has to be allowances for training and getting all industry groups up to speed on this, not dictation from vested interests.

  • It’s obscene that the CTA and others are telling government and the public how evil truck drivers are with paper logs. I’m sickened with the dishonesty in that argument.
    A lot of money is being made with third party special interest in the trucking business and connections with this implementation. And what under the table is being used for the “who’s making the money” .
    Looks like the big trucking companies here in Canada will be the winners with the ELD mandate. They will control the market at large and government agencies will listen to them. Little 2 or 3 unit trucking companies that do specialized and seasonal work will end up in the poor house with the added expense of the ELD, which is 5 times the expense as to paper logs. What little guy, or young person will ever be able to do a start up with insurance and the mere capital expense. Thanks

  • ELD’s have killed more people and have created bigger insurance claims it’s about control and absolutely nothing to do with safety what so ever implemented by people that have never driven a truck.

  • I have run state side for over 50 years and when I semi retired I was driving part time with ELD. With it I found out with ELDs is I am playing beat the clock , wasting time sitting in a truck stop waiting for the clock to tell I can go back to driving and also I end up driving TIRED. I have always said that I am a human not a machine and these so called know it all leaders that have never been in a truck or drove one are going tell us how to it. They do not tell a doctor how to his job so why are telling us how to do ours, we know what we are doing. I do not have a problem with regulations but not to the degree they have put upon us in, like I said I am a HUMAN.

    • You are so right about the E-logs . A much better solution is giving drivers more control and making sure that truck drivers are paid for loading and unloading times at a fair rate of pay.

  • Something needs to be done about the personal conveyance law. There are not enough truck stops in Canada, if you get to one and it’s full and you are out of hours what are you supposed to do. In the U.S. you can use PC to get to a safe haven. In Canada you can’t use PC when hooked to load. Could become quite the mess of trucks parked all over streets and highways.

  • I drive 4hrs in my personal vehicle to get to where the truck is.. Half of us ate out of town guys. We run a 8 and 4 schedule. Now with ELDs itll be 5.5days and 3 off. We always drive up to the night before (in SK) . Its going to suck for us driving back and forth (uncompensated) even more frequently now.
    ELDs create unsafe driving, not a clue CTA has.

  • Trucking is broken. Companies like paperlogs so their disorganization can become the drivers emergency. 14 hours is long enough, 65mph is fast enough. If the work cant be completed in that time then it is what it is.
    Elogs with identify the problems.
    Paperlogs only help the companies compete at the drivers expense.

  • Haven’t been able to find out who ELD’s affect? I have a small garbage company and don’t travel more than 75 km’s in a day will I be subject to ELD’s?

  • We need a trucker strike. Let’s all shut her down May long weekend for two weeks of 2021 let’s all get together and do it we can do it you shut the country down we will get her away. Why can’t we PC with the trailer on that is one BS move in Canada thank you

  • I’m the wife of a Long Haul Truck Driver. He’s been driving for over 30 years proffestionaly. We are both very happy that this mandate will finally come into effect in Canada. My husband has been driving stateside for most of his career, so he has been using the e-log for years now. The e-log has made it very difficult, if not impossible, for companies to push drivers past their legal driving hours. Before you could be pushed to drive as many hours in a day as the company saw fit, not now. What we don’t understand is why Canada has not built many more rest areas! With e-log drivers are stopping at various times, both to rest and sleep. Where are we supposed to stop? In Canada and the US there are signs everywhere telling drivers to rest. For example where do you stop to rest or sleep or go to the bathroom on hwy 17. Better still where do you stop in Saskatchewan at all? We have all seen how important our Truck Drivers are now because of Covid-19, and yet the governments and companies have done so very little to help them to be safe, or God forbid maybe try and make it more comfortable by putting in clean, maintained bathrooms, not latrines in rest areas. I’m sending you this letter because I always read your articles. I’m also hoping you could send this along to the powers that be for help for all our Proffesional Truck Drivers!!! Best regards, Elizabeth Saddington