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In June 2019 Transport Canada officially announced the final rule for electronic logging devices for commercial trucking fleets operating in Canada. 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) and have full compliance by June of 2021. The Canadian ELD rule is similar to the U.S. ELD rule. However, it requires a detailed understanding to help keep your commercial vehicle fleet operating smoothly as these new ELD compliance rules come into effect.
ELD Canada 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. Canadian HOS regulations are slightly more flexible than the U.S. regulations. Automating HOS with compliant ELDs will likely speed up roadside inspections and cross-border inspections between Canada and the U.S. Failure to comply with HOS can result in fines and increased safety risks.
Formerly, drivers in Canada were able to use electronic recording devices (ERDs), e-logs, or automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), as an alternative to daily paper logs. Similar to the U.S. rules, the Candian ELD implementation will include a grandfathering period to allow drivers in this situation time to switch to newer ELD technology.
There are some truckers who will be exempt from using ELDs in Canada. This includes drivers 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).
The hours of service rules in Canada and the U.S. are similar however, there are some key differences in the regulations for ELDs Canada compared to the U.S. mandate.
Third-Party certification for ELDs in Canada
One key difference between the U.S. and Canada ELD mandate is the requirement in Canada 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, 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 using ELDs that are not certified in Canada - including any fleets in the U.S. that regularly cross the Canadian border.
Benefits of the Canadian ELD rule
According to the Canadian 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. Introducing ELD rules in Canada will likely improve road safety by reducing the number of hours drivers spend on the road in a single stretch.
Driver fatigue 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.
Reduced driving fatigue is one of the key benefits of requiring ELDs in Canada and there are additional benefits 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.
- ELD use can help reduce errors and tampering with logbooks by automating the process of recording HOS. This is something that the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has long advocated for.
Finding a certified ELD solution
With these new ELD mandates, drivers in North America that operate in Canada and the United States will need to find ELD solutions that are certified in both countries. The Canada Gazette estimates that there are approximately 65,000 vehicles in the trucking industry that currently do not meet the ELD requirements and will need to get a solution in place by June 2021 (Source).
A commercial vehicle ELD solution 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.
If you’re interested in learning more about Verizon Connect’s ELD solution and how it applies to the Canadian ELD mandate, contact us today.