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Canada Hours of service (HOS) regulations: What's different from US HOS rules

By Verizon Connect June 12, 2023

Full enforcement for electronic logging devices (ELDs) for commercial trucking fleets operating in Canada began on January 1, 2023. For any companies operating Canadian trucking fleets, or U.S. fleets that may travel to and from Canada, it’s important to understand how hours of service (HOS) regulations differ in the U.S. and Canada as the industry transitions to the final rule.

What are hours of service (HOS)?

Hours of service are the maximum allowable working hours for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers within a given period of time. Hours of service regulations define the number of hours a driver must rest between shifts, as well as when breaks and cycles occur. Limits pertaining to HOS differ for property and passenger-carrying drivers, and also differ slightly between the U.S. and Canada.

Download our fleet vehicle compliance management guide to learn more about fleet compliance management as well as common mandates and requirements.

Canadian ELD and hours of service details

The ELD mandate in Canada will require truck drivers who follow HOS regulations to switch from paper logbooks to ELDs. Previously, Canada had no specific requirements governing the use of electronic recording devices for monitoring drivers' HOS. Drivers were able to use electronic recording devices (ERDs), e-logs, or automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), as alternatives to daily logs on paper. The ELD mandate did not change the HOS regulations already in place, but help to monitor and bolster driver compliance with the HOS rules.

Click here to review a full list of key differences you will see in your Hours of Service (HOS) mobile app depending on whether you are following US or Canadian ELD regulations.

What are the differences between hours-of-service rules in the U.S. and Canada? 

While the HOS rules in Canada and the U.S. are similar, Canadian HOS regulations are slightly more flexible than in the U.S. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has outlined a number of helpful differences for companies and truck drivers to understand when driving between the United States and Canada.1 

  • In the U.S., you are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14-consecutive-hour driving window begins when you start any kind of work. Once you have reached the end of this 14-consecutive-hour period, you cannot drive again until you have been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours, or the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.2
  • In Canada, drivers can accumulate 13 hours of driving time in a day and a total of 14 hours of on-duty time in a day. Once a driver has reached the maximum time, the driver must take at least 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time before driving again.3
  • When operating in the U.S., a Canadian driver must comply with the U.S. HOS regulations, and vice versa.
  • A Canadian CMV driver is subject to U.S. record of duty (RODs) status requirements when operating in the U.S., and vice versa.
  • A driver operating in the U.S. must have their daily RODs status for the current and past seven consecutive days in their possession and available for inspection. Canadian HOS rules require the past 14 consecutive days of RODs, as well as supporting documents for the current trip.
  • In the U.S., the maximum driving time for a CMV driver of passengers is 10 hours after having 8 hours consecutively off duty. In Canada, there is no differentiation between those driving goods/property and those driving passengers.

The guidelines regarding 30-minute breaks also differ slightly for truckers in Canada. In the U.S., driving isn’t permitted if more than 8 hours have passed “the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period or 30-minute break after 8 cumulative—not consecutive—hours of CMV driving.” The 30-minute break can be satisfied by using 30 minutes of a combination of consecutive on-duty/off-duty/sleeper berth time. In Canada, drivers must use off-duty time (other than the mandatory 8 consecutive hours) in blocks no shorter than 30 minutes.1

You can find a full rundown of the differences between Canadian and U.S. HOS rules here.

Make sure you have the right ELD solution in place

The use of ELDs automates record keeping and reporting so that any audits and roadside inspections can be managed quickly and efficiently. For trucking companies in the U.S. and Canada alike, a commercial vehicle ELD can help give drivers peace of mind during inspections, reducing downtime and the chance of fines, which can cost your business thousands of dollars and even require you to cease operations.




Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: ELD & Compliance, Data & Analytics, Team Management

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