If you are a Canadian trucker or own a Canadian trucking company, you must prepare for the upcoming Canadian Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate. Canada will roll out the ELD mandate in June of this year, with full implementation set for 2020 (according to the Canadian Trucking Association, or the CTA).
Although the Canadian version is like the U.S. mandate, it’s still a complicated proceeding which you must understand. Non-compliance will cause hefty fines and out-of-service orders; both costly to the company and the driver.
To avoid delays and costly errors, let’s streamline it into easy-to-understand terms based on what we know today.
What is the purpose of an ELD?
If you listen to truckers discussing ELDs you may assume they only track a driver’s hours-of-service (HOS) and nothing more, but they provide a technology to help streamline workflow and communication.
An ELD is a piece of hardware which connects to the truck’s engine control module (ECM). It tracks HOS compliance, mandating both drivers and trucking companies to adhere to the strict rules put in place for the safety and health of those who use the roads. The days of recording hours on paper using a pen and ruler are gone. ELDs remove recording errors and illegal manipulation of driving hours.
An ELD can transfer its stored information to dispatch or DOT/MTO officers during an inspection. Police will be able to use the information for investigating an accident as it stores the information in a standardized format no one can alter.
Regulations require CDL to keep a record of duty status (RODS) and must use an ELD to show they follow the HOS rules.
What is the Canadian ELD mandate and why is it required?
The mandate requires that most fleets in Canada and the U.S. transition from using outdated paper logs to computerized logs to track the driver’s hours. A third party will certify ELD devices to add an extra layer of security.
Canada and the USA share similar rules and regulations related to transportation. Both countries are striving towards:
Fewer injuries for drivers and everyday vehicles sharing the roads
Developing better working conditions for drivers
In the U.S., the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the transportation industry. In Canada, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) is developing its own set of regulations.
When you compare the two, you find roughly a 75 percent overlap between the rules, which may change once the final draft is released. The Canadian government is committed to working with the U.S. in developing a set of rules which both countries approve.
Other benefits outlined in this document include:
Developing clearer cross-border relations
Gaining a better understanding of the regulatory requirements between the two countries
Outline a plan for fair competition between fleet operators
Ensuring HOS rules compliance
The goals of the ELD mandate
In both Canada and the U.S., the ELD mandate will not change the HOS already in place; it will monitor and force drivers and companies to comply with the rules by using a certified electronic device.
ELDs make enforcing compliance easier and level the playing field for all industries which rely on safe and efficient transportation of goods.
Safety is not the only thing ELDs increase. Transport Canada has conducted research showing the benefits of an ELD outweigh the costs 2:1.
This cost savings include:
Quicker roadside inspections by MTO officers
More efficient deliveries which will reduce customer costs
The Canadian Trucking Association, knowing the benefits these devices bring, has been lobbying for these devices for over 10 years.
How does the ELD mandate affect Canadian trucking companies?
Carriers in Canada that do not cross the border are using computerized logging devices or the old fashioned, paper logs. Carriers who cross international borders, already have ELDs installed as required by U.S. regulations and are using them. So, if your fleet is not using an ELD, you need to quickly catch up before the end of this year when Canada begins enforcement.
Avoid undue stress on your staff and drivers by using a device like the KeepTruckin fleet management solution which allows drivers to transition from Canadian-based regulations to the U.S. based without worry.
Canadian ELD exemptions
There are four main exemptions from ELDs listed in Canada Gazette Part 1 Volume 151, No. 50. As of this writing, the exemptions are not law.
Commercial motor vehicles will be exempt if:
Operating under a permit from a provincial or territorial HOS director
Have a statutory exemption
Subject to a rental agreement with terms being under 30 days
The vehicle was manufactured before 2000
How to find a Canadian compliant device
Since Canada has not fully implemented its mandate, there are no certified Canadian ELDs on the market yet. Since we expect the Canadian rules to be similar to the U.S. rules, Canadian ELDs may require a simple software update.
ELDs sold in the U.S. are self-certified by the manufacturer. In Canada, the requirement for certification is through a third party which ensures the devices are tamper-proof.
Any U.S. operator coming into Canada would require their ELD provider get government approved certification to be legal in Canada. They do not expect this to be a difficult process since both mandates will most likely be similar.
The ELD learning curve
The old way of keeping logs has been in place for decades and learning a new method may be difficult for some. Success requires the full participation of drivers, dispatchers, and all support staff.
The earlier you train your staff and drivers, the easier it will be when full compliance becomes mandatory. Easing everyone into this new experience will lighten the stress of learning and aid with adoption.
By starting early, you can try different devices to ensure you have one that will work for your company. If you leave things to the last minute, you may struggle with a technology that does not meet your needs.
Research proves that fleets who have adopted the ELDs early, have learned to use them in ways which allow the company to reduce costs, increase driver retention, improve road safety, and decrease violations.
Here are a few resources that explain how ELDs and fleet management solutions can help you unlock the full potential of your fleet:
With the Canadian ELD mandate quickly approaching, you are going to have to get your fleet ready. Maybe you are an international carrier and have already implemented a US compliant device. If so, you are well ahead of others. If not, now is the time to investigate what device will work best for your fleet.
Pay close attention to the US discussion regarding the mandate as the Canadian version will be very similar. Also, start with a trial of an ELD device so you can get a feel for what is required.
There are numerous apps and ELD devices on the market in the US. When the Canadian mandate comes into effect, you are going to need a device that is not only compliant but certified for use in Canada.
KeepTruckin is fully compliant and is software driven to make complying with the new Canadian ELD mandate a quick and painless operation. With over 500,000 drivers and 55,000 trucking companies using the KeepTruckin fleet management solution, why trust anyone else with your compliance needs.