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Preparing for the Basics of the Canadian ELD Mandate

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Jun 1, 2020

Starting June 12th, 2021, Canada will begin implementing the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. This means, after that date, Canadian truckers must be using ELDs instead of their daily paper logs.

Canadian ELD mandate

The mandate covers commercial motor drivers operating in various provinces, counties, territories, or states as well as trailers, tractors, or a combination of such vehicles with a total gross weight of more than 4500 kilograms or 9921 lbs.

Companies have been given sufficient time to prepare for the transition to ELDs as Transport Canada first announced the ELD mandate in June of 2019. The two-year transition period was for the Canadian government to work out details of the mandate while allowing the firms time to prepare for the change. During these two years, additional rules were added by Transport Canada. Many are finding it difficult to follow the developments, so we listed the basics of the ELD Mandate below.

What are the Goals of the Canadian ELD Mandate?

Transport Canada is mandating the use of ELD, seeing that the device is capable of acting as a helpmeet of truckers. Below are the goals of the ELD mandate.

  • Improve driver safety by eliminating fatigue - Transport Canada says that 25 percent of violations are caused by drivers who are running over the limit of the Hours of Service (HOS).
  • Eliminate unfair competition - The use of ELDs will require industry players to follow the rules, which, to some degree, is an equalizer of competition.
  • Improved efficiency - ELDs are more efficient since paper logs, and old electronic recording devices are time-consuming and are often inaccurate.
  • Leads to harmonization - Currently, provinces have different rules on ELD. The ELD mandate will align the federal and provincial regulations.

What are the Similarities Between the Canadian and the United States ELD mandates?

The United States has its own ELD mandate, and some of its rules are quite similar to the Canadian version, see the similarities of the two country's ELD mandates.

  • ELDs log both workflow and edits
  • Synchronization with engine
  • Unassigned driving
  • Special driving statuses such as personal use and yard movements
  • Covers vehicles of the model year of 2000 and above

What are the Differences Between the Two ELD mandates?

  • In Canada, rental trucks used for 30 days are exempt from the mandate
  • Drivers can edit their incorrect unassigned driving time in cases where they assigned them incorrectly to themselves
  • Drivers who have used 75 kilometers a day must disable the personal use option
  • ELDs in Canada have to warn drivers once they're running out of Hours of Service
  • ELDs in Canada have to be accredited by a third-party certification
  • Roadside transfers of ELDs in Canada have to send a data package to an email address which drivers need to type. The data package contains a .csv and PDF file of the logs

How Must Canadian Companies Prepare?

By now Canadian carriers must be preparing for implementation by doing the following:

  • Reviewing the documentation provided by both the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and Transport Canada
  • Scouting for ELD vendors that will have the devices certified by a third party and capable of supporting the Canada Ruleset requirements.

The ELD mandate implementation date for Canadian fleets may be a year away. But companies should start preparing for the transition to ELDs now. Aside from keeping abreast of the latest developments, businesses should also thoroughly research the possible ELD vendors that can meet the Canadian ELD mandate standards.


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