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Canadian ELD deadline - What You Need to Know

By Kevin Aries October 19, 2022

In June 2019, Transport Canada announced the final rule for electronic logging devices (ELD) for commercial trucking fleets operating in Canada. The rule states that any commercial motor vehicle drivers currently required to keep a record of duty status will be required to make the switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs).

With enforcement for the ELD mandate set to begin on Januarry 1, 2023, it’s important to understand how the Canadian ELD rule differs from the U.S. rule, and how you can help keep your commercial vehicle fleet operating smoothly as these new compliance rules come into effect.

Canadian ELD and hours of service details

The ELD mandate in Canada will require truck drivers who follow hours of service (HOS) regulations to switch from paper logbooks to ELDs. Currently, the HOS rules in Canada limit drivers to 13-hours of consecutive driving in a 16-hour driving day and then a minimum of 8 consecutive hours off duty status. While the HOS rules in Canada and the U.S. are similar, Canadian HOS regulations are slightly more flexible than the U.S. regulations. The ELD mandate will not change the HOS regulations already in place, but will help monitor and bolster driver compliance with the HOS rules.

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 paper logs. Transport Canada originally included a two-year grandfathering period to allow extra time fleets using ERDs to switch to ELDs, but have since eliminated the grandfather period and will require that all fleets must implement ELDs by the January 1, 2023 enforcement date.

According to the Canada Gazette, commercial vehicles will be exempt from needing ELDs if they:

  • Operate under a specific permit issued
  • Have a statutory exemption
  • Are subject to a rental agreement with terms under 30 days
  • Operate a vehicle that was manufactured before 2000

There are also some truckers who will be exempt from using ELDs in Canada, including those who fall under the short haul exemption and don’t drive outside of a 160km radius of their home terminal. You can learn more about the Canadian ELD technical standards from the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

Differences between ELD mandates in the U.S. and Canada

Canada worked hard to harmonize its ELD regulations with those in the U.S. as much as possible to help support smooth cross-border operations for fleets and allow drivers to use a single ELD solution in both countries. Most of the differences are at the ELD vendor level, and fleets will not have to do anything differently from what they currently do with respect to complying with Canadian rules.1

One major difference that will likely have the biggest impact on carriers as they work to comply with the Canadian ELD mandate is the requirement for third-party certification of all ELD devices. In the U.S., ELD manufacturers can self-certify that their devices meet the technical designations made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

In Canada, however, fleet managers will be required to choose ELDs that have been certified by third-party organizations who inspect and certify ELD providers to ensure they meet the proper restrictions required by the Canadian government. The third-party certification provision could pose a challenge for any fleets currently operating with ELDs that are not certified in Canada—including any fleets in the U.S. that regularly cross the Canadian border.

According to Adime Bonsi, a researcher at FPInnovations, “The first thing American carriers will need to do is ensure they are already using an ELD that complies with all the current U.S. rules. With more than 450 self-certified ELD vendors currently registered on the FMCSA website, the burden of choice is on U.S. fleets to select compliant ELDs. In Canada, ELD certification will be done by an accredited, independent organization. Certified ELDs will be listed on Transport Canada's website and carriers can choose a supplier from the list of certified vendors.”1

Benefits of the Canadian ELD rule

According to the Canada Gazette, non-compliance with the HOS rules and drive time limits can result in fatigued driving and an increased risk of crash, injury, and death. The HOS and ELD rules are intended to regulate drivers sleeping patterns and help avoid fatigued driving, which is recognized as one of the key contributors to road crashes in Canada and internationally. Fatigue for commercial drivers is especially dangerous due to the size of the vehicles they operate and the increased number of injuries and fatalities that result from truck or bus crashes.

Introducing ELD rules in Canada will likely improve road safety by monitoring HOS compliance and reducing the number of hours drivers spend on the road in a single stretch. Transport Canada estimates that the mandatory requirement for ELD will reduce the risk of fatigue-related collisions by approximately 10%.2

Reduced driving fatigue is one of the key benefits of requiring ELDs in Canada, and there are additional benefits that can be realized from switching to an ELD solution, including:

  • Improved driver safety and CSA scores through automated driver management
  • Minimized paperwork with data readily available via the cloud at all times, simplifying operations and reducing operating costs
  • Faster completion of DVIRs and roadside inspections help drivers and vehicles stay compliant, leading to greater uptime and increased revenue
  • Reduce errors and tampering with logbooks by automating the process of recording HOS
  • Limit unfair competition by ensuring everyone is following the regulations

Finding a certified ELD solution

With the ELD enforcement date fast approaching, carriers and drivers that operate in Canada and the U.S. will need to find ELD solutions that are certified in both countries. 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. The use of ELDs automate record keeping and reporting, any audits and roadside inspections can be managed quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of stress.

An ELD solution can help you stay compliant and help build efficiency in your fleet business. Find out how it can work for your business




Kevin Aries

Kevin Aries leads Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that optimize the way people, vehicles and things move through the world.

Tags: ELD & Compliance

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