Benefits of ELDs outweigh costs 2:1, Transport Canada says

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TORONTO, ON – Transport Canada has determined that the benefits of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) essentially double the related costs, according to a newly released Cost-Benefit Analysis.

The analysis examined two scenarios – a mandate for all federally regulated carriers, and one that excluded vehicles that would already have to meet a pending U.S. mandate for the devices.

The analysis “confirms the significant net benefit from an ELD mandate and dispels some of the myths about ELDs that are out there,” said David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, which released the results.

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will require the devices south of the border beginning in December 2017, while existing and qualified technology would be grandfathered until December 2019.

While Transport Canada has yet to formally announce regulations of its own, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has reported that it expects the formal regulatory process to begin with a Canada Gazette Part 1 notice by the spring of 2017.

Canada has 750,000 heavy trucks, but just 170,000 of them would be covered by a federal ELD mandate. Most are governed by provincial Hours of Service regulations.

According to Transport Canada’s study, about 84.5% of for-hire trucks are equipped with fleet management systems that can support ELDs, while 56.5% have operational ELDs.

The proposed mandate would cost a small carrier an average of $1,193 per year, while large carriers would face average costs of $46,685, the study suggests.

Entry- or mid-level devices considered in the study would cost $300 to $900 per unit. Associated installation costs would be $220 per device with activation fees of $15 per unit. Monthly monitoring service fees were estimated at $30 per month, with driver training of $48 per hour, and training for inspectors and auditors costing $457 per person.

Savings are expected to come from a number of areas. It’s estimated that drivers now spend 4.5 to 23 minutes maintaining paper logbooks every day. They also spend about five minutes about 25 times a year, forwarding daily logs to carriers. Drivers would save about 20 hours of administrative time that’s annually invested in the paper logs, while clerical employees now spend 3.5 minutes filing each paper log.

About 282,500 daily log inspections are conducted in Canada each year.


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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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