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Compare and Contrast: Canada’s Upcoming Mandate for ELDs

As Senior Vice President of Policy at the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), Geoffrey Wood has long been involved in the development of Canada’s ELD mandate. 

In a presentation during Trimble’s in.sight user conference + expo last August, Wood laid out the roadmap to June 12, 2021, noting many of the issues are similar to those created by the US mandate. The goal of both is effective, enforceable, and transparent processes for managing Hours of Service (HOS) and addressing the ineffectiveness of paper record-keeping and the burden it places on administrative resources across the industry.

Wood stated, “The goal all along was to align, to the extent possible, FMCSA and Transport Canada regulations.” Still, some aspects of the Canadian rule are different from those of its neighbor to the south, making it essential for companies operating in both countries to have a game plan in effect before June. 

 

Similarities and Differences in Each ELD Mandate

The basic rationale for creating the Canadian mandate is nearly identical to the U.S. rule. When Canadian Transportation Minister Marc Garneau announced the mandate in 2019 he said, “Electronic logging devices can help reduce driver fatigue and collisions. These safety benefits are important to Canadians and improve road safety. For these reasons, we worked with industry to mandate the use of these devices by June 12, 2021.”

HOS rules differ between the US and Canada, but the basic rules are similar in structure and intent, as are the exemptions, which apply to

  • Vehicles operating within a radius less than 160 km from home base of operations (same as today)

  • Models dating back to the year 2000 and older 

  • Lease or rental agreements of less than 30 days

  • Existing HOS permits/exemptions pertaining specifically to oil fields and certain other regimes operating outside the standard

 

Canadian labor leaders also support the mandate. Teamsters Canada President, François Laporte, said “[making] electronic logging devices mandatory in commercial vehicles will finally make hours of service regulations enforceable. It will go a long way to reduce driver fatigue, prevent accidents and ultimately save lives.” 

Apart from the certification process, differences between the rules align with those already existing between each country’s HOS regulations.

 

Canada’s Third-Party ELD Certification Process

Despite objections similar to those raised in the US which resulted in requests to postpone the mandate, government and industry leaders are pressing ahead and keeping to the original timeline. Transport Canada partnered with Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to identify certification bodies (CBs), the third party groups in charge of certifying ELDs for use in Canada. For experienced vendors, this method of presenting their products for use in Canada will not be new territory. 

Wood noted the certification process meets ISO (International Organization for Standardization) protocols designed to ensure consistency, quality, safety, and efficiencies in products and services. Wood also said regular updates have been taking place between Transport Canada and ELD manufacturers, and information from these updates is posted on Transport Canada’s ELD webpage, which includes listings of official vendors.

 

The Implementation Plan for ELDs

The SCC (Standards Council of Canada) created the ELD Vendor Technical Committee to ensure evergreen monitoring of ELD regime/process. According to Wood, the following are important milestones on the path to the June 2021 implementation:

  • Concurrent testing by CBs of multiple ELD products for certification. 

  • 15-20 vendors apply to produce ELDs

  • Certification of those vendors’ products to be completed during 2020 

  • Make third party-certified ELD product offerings accessible via software update or online download, including as an app used on a smartphone (a process similar to the migration from AOBRD to ELD that took place with FMCSA)

 

Province Preparedness for ELD Mandate Enforcement 

Next steps to implement at the provincial level  include joint efforts by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and stakeholders such as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to address the following during the coming months:
 

  • Speed enforcement to combat time compression and encourage efficiencies in shipper-carrier-driver management. 

  • Continued enforcement focus on electronic hours of service devices designed for cheating 

  • Increased attention on carriers that continue to use paper log books (before June)

  • Provincial adoption of ELD Regulations

  • Development of an enforcement regime to combat the manufacture, sale, solicitation, installation, and operation of ELDs that are not certified past June 2021 (with planned consumer protection)

  • Ongoing ELD education and awareness

 

Ensure Your ELD Mandate Readiness with Trimble

Are you and your drivers ready for June’s enforcement deadline of the Canadian ELD mandate? For nearly 20 years, Trimble’s eDriver Logs® solution has been trusted by fleets throughout North America to electronically track Hours of Service to help ensure compliance and maximize driver efficiency.

Contact us today to learn more about how we are helping our customers prepare for the Canadian ELD mandate and how we can assist you in selecting the right in-cab technology for your operational and compliance needs.