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Prepping for Compliance with Canada's ELD Mandate

It’s been a few years now since United States fleets began rolling out Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in anticipation of the national mandate – the final date of the two-phase transition for compliance was December 16, 2019.

In June 2019, Canada’s Minister of Transport declared a 24-month implementation period for Canada’s own ELD mandate, which would officially go into effect on the June 12, 2021 deadline. The mandate requires that electronic devices be used to automatically log commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators’ hours of service, and the effective date is already around the corner. 

While many fleets and drivers across the continent may be accustomed to assistance from electronic devices for safety and compliance purposes, ensuring that fleets are well prepared for the Canadian ELD mandate will protect company assets and ideally provide a seamless transition into compliant waters. And preparation starts with digging into the what, the why and the fundamentals of Electronic Logging Devices.

 

Why Are ELDs Required?  

The reason for the Canadian ELD mandate is pretty straightforward – safety and tracking. In the past, drivers’ Hours of Service (HOS) were recorded manually. This was usually done on paper or otherwise older electronic devices. Newer ELDs, connected to the electronic control module of the commercial vehicle, log hours automatically and ensure that the driver’s logged driving time stays within a safe, efficient range. Essentially, the mandate helps fleets optimize operations while limiting the chance for human error, protecting the driver from harm and the company from substantial losses.

Also note that while hours of service logging are automatic for drivers, CMV drivers must still enter information such as duty statuses related to loading, unloading or fueling. Of course, this mandate could still undergo some amendments. But such changes aren’t expected to come into effect until after the ELD mandate is officially in effect in June 2021.

 

 

Understanding the Primary Benefits of ELDs

ELDs benefit more than just the driver and fleet manager. When systems like ELDs do what they’re supposed to, it benefits the whole supply chain. Typically, updated electronic logging will benefit your fleet in the following ways:

  • Help reduce driver fatigue and potentially prevent catastrophic accidents

  • Empower fleets with views into available hours to maximize driver productivity

  • Cut down on administrative costs

  • Provide fairer competition for federally regulated motor carriers

  • Improve the potential auditing process with an electronic paper trail of drivers’ HOS

The best way to benefit from your ELD transition is to familiarize yourself with the technology so you can be better prepared to implement it prior to the deadline. Trimble has an abundance of resources available that will help you better understand ELDs whether you are a driver, carrier or shipper.

 

What’s Different About the Canadian ELD Rule?

Companies who operate near the border will understand the complexities of international shipping and regulation matters, and many will already be familiar with the federal mandate implemented by the U.S. That said, not all requirements and exemptions will echo those of the U.S. mandate. While the technology remains the same, the mandate for Canadian ELD compliance differs from the United States mandate in some key ways:

  • The U.S. rule included a grandfather provision while the Canadian rule doesn’t.

  • Exemptions for the Canadian mandate aren’t the same. Such exemptions include CMVs rented for 30 days or less, whereas the U.S. truck exemption is 8 days or less.

  • The Canadian ELD certification process is more rigorous. For example, ELD models and software versions should be certified by an accredited, independent 3rd party.  

  • Data transfer methods are required, such as the capability to email a PDF file and an on-screen display of data or the capability of printing data.

  • The malfunction timeframe for Canadian ELDs is different. Drivers have 14 days in which they may use paper logs following an ELD malfunction. Carriers must also document the malfunction in detail.

The Canadian ELD rule requires limitations on distance driven under personal conveyance within 24-hour periods. Under this requirement, the driving status changes automatically if the distance driven exceeds 75 km.

 

Comparing AOBRD and ELD Requirements and Functionality

Some drivers and fleets may be familiar with Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs), but not so much with ELDs. While they have the capability to function in similar ways, the differences between an Automatic Onboard Recording Device and an Electronic Logging Device are important to note. Among these differences are internal systems and software, as well as data transferring capabilities. Carriers should reach out to their ELD supplier to get a clear idea of whether their device is compliant with the Canadian mandate.

 

Get Up-to-Date ELD Solutions for Your Fleet

At Trimble, we are constantly evolving our approach to transportation technology in innovative and creative ways so that fleets can better manage their systems and protect their bottom line. As collaborators with experts across numerous industries and stages of the supply chain, we make it our top priority to implement solutions that connect drivers, trucks, freight and assets.

ELD adoption is especially grueling for those whose technology is more dated. In general, government and industry officials expect certification to take several months. Whatever your case, our people are standing by and prepared to help you ensure an easy transition into this modern means of logging. Reach out now for questions about our ELD solutions or to learn more about how we can assist you maintain the compliance and safety of your fleet.